UK government schedules offshore wind evidence session

In: Windfarms
The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) will be holding an evidence session on offshore wind on Thursday 4 June 2020 Meeting starts at 9.30am. It will consider the potential of offshore wind and how government policy can facilitate the UK making the best and most cost-effective use of the technology.

Following the government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal in March 2019, the EAC will consider opportunities to maximise the industry’s potential, and  the challenges it faces in delivering greater capacity. The session will hear from experts from the sector and those involved with developing the Offshore Wind Sector Deal.

These include:
  • Andrew Jamieson, CEO, Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
  • Rebecca Williams, Head of Policy and Regulation, RenewableUK
  • Benj Sykes, Head of UK Market Development, Consenting & External Affairs at Ørsted and co-chair of Offshore Wind Industry Council

The UK is currently leading the world in offshore wind in terms of capacity, with over 9.5 GW commissioned and more than 13 GW past the construction consent milestone. 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. Earlier this year, the UK's target for installed offshore wind was raised to 40 GW by 2030.

Last month, the Crown Estate opened the Invitation to Tender (ITT) Stage 1 for Round 4 of its offshore wind leasing programme. Round 4 is expected to facilitate the installation of at least 7 GW of new offshore wind capacity off the coasts of England and Wales. Round 4 was revealed following seven extension projects with a combined capacity of 2.85 GW progressing to the award of rights stage.

In September 2019, 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, Doggerbank Creyke Beck B, Doggerbank Teeside A, Forthwind,  Seagreen Phase 1 and Sofia offshore wind farms. The cumulative capacity of these awarded projects exceeds 5.4 GW.

As part of the sector deal, signed in March 2019, the government 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 afield,
click here.

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