A major support package for UK industry to power millions more homes and businesses over the next decade is also being announced today (Monday July 23rd) by Energy & Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry.
Offshore wind and, for the first time, remote island wind providers will be able to bid for contracts to power up to four million homes from Cornwall to the Shetland Isles. These clean electricity auctions will be held in 2019 and every two years from then on, signalling support worth up to £557million for the industry.
Announcing the significant package on a visit to the Offshore Renewables Catapult in Newcastle, Energy & Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry will say: “The UK renewables sector is thriving, with more offshore wind capacity here than anywhere else in the world and 50% of electricity coming from low-carbon sources last year in what was our greenest year ever.
“For the last decade the Offshore wind industry has been a great British success story: increasing productivity, raising earnings and improving lives in communities across the UK; and today the sector gets the certainty it needs to build on this success through the next 10 years.”
With wind turbines already providing 15% of the UK's electricity, today's fresh vote of confidence in the sector will secure its position as a global leader in a thriving industry, enhance confidence and encourage businesses to make long-term investment.
The Government has already met its ambition set out in the Clean Growth Strategy to produce 30% of its power from renewable sources by 2020/21 and this fresh support will see the UK secure its position as a world leader in low carbon energy.
Today’s announcement also supports supply chains from the south coast to north east. Companies such as Northumberland-based Osbit Ltd, who specialise in the supply of technical equipment and engineering services to offshore wind projects are now set to benefit from today's boost to the renewables industry to secure their future.
It comes ahead of the first annual Green GB Week- starting on 15 October- signalling the Government’s continued commitment to driving clean growth and benefitting from the economic and industrial opportunities it brings.
Benj Sykes, Co-Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and UK Country Manager at Ørsted said: “As well as cost-effectively reducing carbon emissions to meet our climate change targets, the offshore wind industry is powering the clean economy, bringing investment, skilled jobs and supply chain opportunities to businesses up and down the UK.
"Our sector has proposed a transformative ambition to deliver at least 30GW by 2030, enough to meet more than a third of the country’s electricity needs, which in turn could increase exports five-fold, create thousands of skilled jobs and reduce electricity system costs. Today’s announcement is a vote of confidence in our industry, and will directly enable more investment in the UK.”