The government has ambitious targets when it comes to renewable energy and recently revealed its plans to produce nearly a third of electricity from offshore wind by 2030.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy laid out the goals earlier this month (March 7th) with the launch of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal.
This programme, which has also received commitment from industry leaders, has set out how more electricity will be created from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels over the next 11 years. It intends to produce 70 per cent of British electricity from low-carbon energy by 2030, supported by an industry investment of £250 million.
Claire Perry, energy and clean growth minister, said: “This new Sector Deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our positions as global leaders in this growing sector.”
This will be achieved by providing more investment potential than any other country, as the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) will develop Britain’s supply chain and increase global exports by five times its current level, reaching £2.6 billion by 2030.
OWGP will boost productivity and increase competition within the sector, helping it stand out as the centre of renewable energy throughout the world.
Benj Sykes, the co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Orsted UK country manager for offshore, said offshore wind will become “the heart of our low-carbon, affordable and reliable electricity system”.
He went on to say: “This relentlessly innovative sector is revitalising parts of the country which have never seen opportunities like this for years, especially coastal communities.”
As a result, the Sector Deal will go a long way to ensuring the offshore wind market will be worth more than £30 billion by 2030.
Indeed, it has been growing at a rapid rate over the last few years already. In 2010, offshore wind’s share of annual UK generation was just 0.8 per cent, which then grew to 6.2 per cent by 2017. It is now expected to reach ten per cent by 2020, and has exponential growth potential beyond with this surge of investment from the industry.
Renewable energy certainly has the support from oil giant BP, as its Energy Outlook 2019 predicted drastic changes to the sector. The report highlighted the shift towards green sources, saying it is the “fastest growing source of energy”.
BP predicted renewable shares will rise from zero per cent of power sources from 2000 to 30 per cent by 2040. At the same time, it estimated that coal use will have dropped from 40 per cent to below the level of green energy during this 40-year period too.
Renewable energy, according to BP, will become the primary provider of energy over the next couple of decades. This will be at the expense of coal as energy suppliers attempt to reduce carbon emissions while keeping up with increasing demand for electricity.