BEIS launches Offshore Wind Investment Programme

In: Windfarms

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is launching an Offshore Wind Investment Programme to support the delivery of manufacturing investment in the offshore wind supply chain. It may provide grant funding for major investments in the manufacture of strategically important offshore wind components in certain disadvantaged or deprived regions in the UK.

This Investment Programme aims to ensure that offshore wind continues to contribute to reducing costs and is more cost competitive in the UK market, and that the UK can meet domestic targets, which include delivering 40GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and achieving net zero by 2050.

BEIS has coordinated with the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) over the past year to establish a strategic approach which can deliver UK supply chain growth.

OWIC assessed the areas where there is scope to grow the UK’s capacity to supply the full range of design, production and finishing activities. This assessment identified immediate offshore wind supply chain opportunities in the manufacture of blades, monopile foundations, towers, export and array cables. As such, these components will be prioritised for the provision of grant funding under the Investment Programme. However, BEIS will also consider projects involving the manufacture of other offshore wind components.

Applicants will be required to provide substantial contribution to the investment costs of a relevant project in addition to the amount sought from BEIS (and other public funds).

This is an open ‘challenge fund’ scheme, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis. Any final decisions to offer public funding will be made at the discretion of ministers taking in to account information arising from this process.

The Programme is open to applications until 23:59 30 May 2021. BEIS retains the discretion to extend this date if it deems it necessary.

Government support for offshore wind generation has been increasing with the cost of the technology falling by two thirds in the last five years. Last year Boris Johnson pledged that every UK home will be powered by electricity from offshore wind farms by 2030 and that £160m will be spent on ports and factories across the country to manufacture the next generation turbines.
The plan includes quadrupling how much offshore wind energy the UK produces to 40GW by 2030.

Next year, the UK government has scheduled to hold the fourth round of the Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme. Slated to open in late 2021, the fourth round aims to increase the capacity of renewable energy from the 5.8 GW achieved in the last round to up to 12 GW. The CfD scheme is the government’s primary method of supporting low-carbon electricity. It encourages investment in renewable energy by providing projects with a stable income, while protecting consumers from paying increased costs when electricity prices are high. The scheme is open to fixed offshore, floating and onshore wind energy as well as other renewable energy technologies.

For more information on offshore wind farms worldwide, click here.

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