U.K. Pledges Further $218 Million to Support Offshore Wind Power

UK Government plesges additional funding support for offshore wind power development

Published Nov 1, 2021 5:25 PM by The Maritime Executive

The British government announced plans for a further $218 million of funding dedicated to the development of the offshore wind energy industry. This is in addition to a previous $275 million in support for offshore wind projects announced by the government earlier this year. The goal is to support the development of new large-scale floating offshore wind ports and factories focusing on the potential in Scotland and Wales.

In announcing the funding, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was designed to support the overall plan to deliver 1 GW of energy through floating offshore wind by 2030, which is nearly nine times more than the current volumes worldwide. Johnson said that he also expects private sector investment to join with the government in mass-producing floating offshore wind turbines and installing them out at sea.  Johnson had previously announced the major energy companies, including Iberdrola, had committed to investing billions of dollars into the U.K.’s offshore wind programs.

“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,” said U.K. Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng. “This new investment will put us in a leading position to capture the full economic benefit of this fast-growing industry.”

The U.K. cites its successes so far in offshore wind while citing the long-term potential for development. 

To date, they report the efforts have resulted in a 65 percent decline in the cost of energy derived offshore from wind in addition to the significant investment commitments for developing new offshore wind ports in Teesside and the Humber.

Making the most of the deep waters off the Scottish coast offers huge opportunities for Scotland’s coastal communities, with the government highlighting the opportunities to build on Scotland’s lead as a technology hub for offshore wind. Scotland already has two of the world’s first floating offshore wind farms off the coast of Aberdeen and a new round of leasing is in process. The Celtic Sea is also seen as a major development opportunity for the offshore wind sector. They highlighted the combination of deep waters and strong winds, which could provide significant opportunities for development in Wales.

The newly allocated funding follows the U.K. Government’s similarly sized fund dedicated to upgrading ports and infrastructure for the offshore wind industry. In total, the government estimates that more than $2 billion in investment has been secured. Earlier this year, the government also kicked off efforts to accelerate low carbon electricity generation, including $276 million in support for offshore wind projects and $33 million for floating offshore wind.