Yesterday, the UK Government launched its Clean Growth Strategy to “… help British businesses and entrepreneurs to seize the opportunities which the global low carbon economy presents, from electric vehicles to offshore wind.”
It is encouraging that the strategy mentions that offshore wind is the industry to follow and the price is being note by Government decision makers..
Some of the 50 actions include wind explicitly:
- Improve the route to market for renewable technologies such as offshore wind through:
- Up to £557 million for further Pot 2 Contract for Difference auctions, with the next one planned for spring 2019
- Working with industry as they develop an ambitious the sector deal for offshore wind (part of the Building our Industrial Strategy programme). This could result in 10 gigawatts of new capacity, with the opportunity for additional deployment if this is cost effective, built in the 2020s
- Invest around £900 million of public funds in innovation, including around:
- £265 million in smart systems to reduce the cost of electricity storage, advance innovative demand response technologies and develop new ways of balancing the grid
- £177 million to further reduce the cost of renewables, including innovation in offshore wind turbine blade technology and foundations
The strategy also includes the welcome news that onshore wind, at least for the remote islands of Scotland will be eligible for the next round of auctions. Also some funding will be available from the Rural Development Plan for England (RDPE) Growth Programme and Countryside Productivity Offers ”for solar panels and small wind turbines with battery storage”.
The renewable industry has rightly welcomed the Clean Growth Strategy announcement as providing clarity on the priority given to clean electricity, especially the timing and scale of the next round of CfD auctions. We look forward to our work on economic impacts, cost reduction strategies, supply chain building and innovation, that will help the wind industry in the UK make the most of the opportunities this strategy presents.