UK offshore wind capacity to double in next decade

Renewable energy trade association RenewableUK welcomed the announcement by the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on new auctions “to secure renewable energy sources which mean that the UK’s offshore wind capacity is set to double over the next decade.”

RenewableUK said: “Ministers have today confirmed that the next competitive auction to procure new renewable power capacity which will take place in May 2019, with offshore wind, remote island wind and a range of other projects competing for Contracts for Difference (CfD).

“The Minister for Clean Growth and Climate Change, Claire Perry, also announced that further CfD auctions will take place every two years and that auctions will be supported by a budget of £557 million.

“The UK already has just over 7GW gigawatts (GW) of operational offshore wind capacity – the largest amount of any country – and a further 7GW under construction or with contracts secured.

“The Government’s announcement of support for an additional 2GW of offshore wind per year in the 2020s could deliver up to 16GW of new capacity, which would generate approximately 20% of UK power.

“In 2017, offshore wind generated 6% of UK power.

“Today’s announcement follows last year’s successful CfD auction which saw the cost of power from new offshore wind farms fall by 50%, making it one of the cheapest options for new power in the UK – lower than the cost of new gas and nuclear power.”

Paul Cooley, director of generation development at Perth-based energy giant SSE, said: “SSE welcomes the announcement from BEIS today confirming that the next Contracts for Difference auction will take place in May 2019.

“The Government’s guarantee that auctions will be held every two years from 2019 onwards provides much needed certainty for the UK’s offshore wind industry.

“As a British company, SSE is committed to ensuring the most favourable outcomes for UK plc from its investment in the offshore wind supply chain.

“Alongside its joint venture partners, SSE is already delivering benefits to the UK through the construction of the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm, which will be operational in 2019.”

Paul Cowling, director of offshore wind at innogy SE said: “innogy welcomes today’s positive announcement which will lead to the UK’s offshore wind capacity almost doubling by the end of the next decade.

“We’re proud to be playing a strong part in cementing the UK as a global leader in this field through projects like the recently delivered Galloper and with Triton Knoll and then Sofia on the horizon.

“It’s a truly exciting time for the offshore wind industry and I look forward to seeing the coastal regions and the UK as a whole continue to reap the substantial rewards.”