U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled new plans to drastically increase the U.K.’s offshore wind energy capacity – creating jobs, slashing carbon emissions and boosting exports.
“Our seas hold immense potential to power our homes and communities with low-cost green energy and we are already leading the way in harnessing its strengths,” says Johnson. “Now, as we build back better we must build back greener. So we are committing to new ambitious targets and investment into wind power to accelerate our progress towards net-zero-emissions by 2050. This sets us on our path towards a green industrial revolution, which will provide tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs.”
Under Johnson’s plans, £160 million will be made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure across Northern England, Scotland and Wales to increase offshore wind capacity – which is already the largest in the world and currently meets 10% of the U.K.’s electricity demand.
This new investment will see around 2,000 rapidly created construction jobs and will enable the sector to support up to 60,000 jobs directly and indirectly by 2030 in ports, factories and the supply chains – which will manufacture and distribute the next-generation of offshore wind turbines.
Under the plan, U.K. businesses, including smaller suppliers, will be well-placed to win orders and further investment from energy companies around the world and increase their competitive standing on the global stage, as well as supporting low-carbon supply chains.
Specifics of Johnson’s plan include:
-Confirming offshore wind will produce more than enough electricity to power every home in the country by 2030, based on current electricity usage, boosting the government’s previous 30 GW target to 40 GW
-Creating a new target for floating offshore wind to deliver 1 GW of energy by 2030, which is over 15 times the current volumes worldwide
-Setting a target to support up to double the capacity of renewable energy in the next Contracts for Difference auction, which will open in late 2021
These commitments are the first stage outlined as part of the Johnson’s 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, which will be set out fully later this year. This is expected to include ambitious targets and major investment into industries, innovation and infrastructure that will accelerate the U.K.’s path to net-zero by 2050.