Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced that new large-scale floating offshore wind ports and factories are set to be built in the UK, thanks to new government investment.
Developers and manufacturers looking to invest in this emerging industry will have the opportunity to bid for a share of up to £160 million in new funding to help kickstart projects throughout the UK.
The newly allocated funding will also support the target in the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan to deliver 1GW of energy through floating offshore wind by 2030 – almost nine times more than the current volumes worldwide – as a stepping stone to substantial further growth of this technology in the UK.
Floating wind allows wind farms to be built further out to sea in deeper waters, boosting energy capacity even further where winds are strongest and ensuring the UK remains at the forefront of the next generation of clean energy.
It is expected that the £160 million, boosted by private sector investment, will develop port infrastructure capable of mass-producing floating offshore wind turbines and installing them out at sea, creating thousands of new jobs in the UK’s industrial heartlands, whilst reducing the need to import from overseas.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “Offshore wind is a UK success story in forging our Green Industrial Revolution. Tapping into this emerging sector will boost our clean electricity generation even further, creating jobs and green innovation across the whole of the UK.”
By making the most of the deep water found off the Scottish coast, this offers a huge opportunity for Scotland’s coastal communities. Building on Scotland’s lead as a tech hub for offshore wind, this includes two of the world’s first-ever floating offshore wind farms just off the coast of Aberdeen.
The Celtic Sea is also a major development opportunity for the sector, combining deep waters and strong winds; both of which are set to create significant opportunities and development in Wales, creating a new economic cluster to build on Wales’ strong industrial heritage.
The UK’s success story in the offshore wind industry has seen costs fall by 65%. Replicating this around the world will be crucial to helping halve global emissions by 2030, helping to limit temperature rises to 1.5C.
Business and Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng commented: “This investment will help to attract further private sector backing to boost our industrial heartlands. It will create and support thousands of good quality jobs, ensuring they remain at the forefront of the next generation of clean energy as we build back greener.
“Floating offshore wind is key to unlocking the spectacular wind energy resource we enjoy in the UK, particularly in the deep waters around the coasts of Scotland and Wales. This new investment will put us in a leading position to capture the full economic benefit of this fast-growing industry.”
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