Boris Johnson to raise offshore wind goal by 10 GW

After the Conservatives raised the bar to 40 GW by 2030, both of the big British parties have committed themselves to further developments after the election.
Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix
Photo: Ben Stansall/AFP/Ritzau Scanpix

No matter the outcome of the British election on Dec. 12, offshore wind will be a winner. This was made clear on Thursday after the Conservative party reported that they would raise the goal from 30 to 40 GW by 2030 if they are re-elected, according to several British media sources including the Financial Times.

The increase was announced in connection with Boris Johnson's election campaigning in Coventry on Wednesday. However, the prime minister did not name offshore wind in his speech, and the promise has not been added to the party's website. Despite this, the British media is covering the new goal of 40 GW, which, among other things, will bring floating offshore wind to the country and create 9,000 jobs.

"We welcome this commitment to expand offshore wind in the UK, as this will boost our ability to achieve zero net carbon emissions cheaply, with use of technology that can scale up. The announcement contains a key commitment to cross-party action to get us ready to reach 40GW in 2030," Benj Sykes, chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), and head of Ørsted in the UK, says.

Opinion polls have long predicted that the Tories will be re-elected. The odds of this haven't been lessened by Nigel Farage declaring that the Brexit Party will not stand in seats that the Conservatives won at the last election.

If power shifts to the other big UK party, this would seemingly lead to even more offshore wind. Labour proposed an initiative in September that would the way paved for 41 GW of new offshore wind in the form of 37 new offshore wind farms with an average capacity of 1.1 GW each. This plan also distinctively involves the state as majority shareholder, owning 51 percent of the project.

OWIC declares that they are politically neutral.

"As world leaders within offshore wind, the UK should be proud of its technology. We look forward to working with whichever party forms the next government to implement the actions that are needed to deliver on the increased goal for offshore wind," says Benj Sykes.

Since the current government entered a sector deal earlier this year, the UK's goal has been 30 GW. Currently, the world's biggest market for offshore wind has a combined effect of just under 8.5 GW with a further 12 GW under production or with shared capacity through the last two Contract for Difference auctions.

English Edit: Catherine Brett

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