today (19 December 2019), Her Majesty the Queen presented her speech to
both houses of parliament, outlining the UK government's proposed polices
and legislative plans and marking the opening of the new parliamentary
year. It was revealed that the UK's target for installed offshore wind
has been raised to 40 GW by 2030, and that the UK government will support
the development of floating turbines.
The announcement follows a pledge by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in
his pre-election campaign to boost offshore wind ambitions from the previously
set target of 30 GW by 2030 in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
to zero by 2050.
Through the speech presented by the Queen, the UK government highlighted
the importance of offshore wind to growing the economy whilst reducing
emissions. It also highlighted that the UK currently represents 34 per
cent of globally installed offshore wind capacity.
The UK has nearly 10 GW installed and over 4 GW in pre-construction or
under construction. In the last twelve months, a number of developments
have seen the cost of offshore wind fall and government support behind
the technology increase as its looks to cut carbon emissions.
In September, the cost of offshore wind dropped around 30%, following the
result of the UK government's latest Contracts for Difference (CfD) auction,
which provides subsidy support for major renewable energy infrastructure
projects. Projects are now being delivered for as low as £39.65/MWh. Successful
projects included the Doggerbank
Creyke Beck A,
Creyke Beck B,
Phase 1 and
offshore wind farms. The cumulative capacity of these awarded projects
exceeds 5.4 GW.
Furthermore, the Crown Estate (TCE) announced plans in September to open
up the potential for at least 7 GW of new seabed rights for offshore wind
development in waters around England and Wales. TCE claims that Round 4
has the potential to meet the electricity needs of over six million homes.
Round 4 was revealed following seven extension projects with a combined
capacity of 2.85 GW progressing to the award of rights stage.
This follows the announcement of the offshore wind sector deal in March
2019, to deliver increased offshore wind capacity, boost the UK economy
and continue to reduce costs. As part of the deal, the government stated
that it will hold another Contracts for Difference allocation round in
2021, with further auctions approximately every two years. Depending on
the price achieved, these auctions will deliver between 1 and 2 GW of offshore
wind each year in the 2020s.
For more information on the offshore wind industry in the UK and further