New report launched to understand UK offshore wind capabilities

It considers the spatial implications of the government’s new ambitious wind plans in the Energy Security Strategy

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A new study has been commissioned to gauge the potential scale for developing offshore wind in the UK.

In the government’s recent Energy Security Strategy, an aim to produce 50GW of offshore wind by 2030 was a key target, with 5GW of this generated by floating offshore wind.

This new Future Offshore Wind Scenario (FOWS) study was carried out by Arup on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Crown Estate – to provide an understanding on what can be achieved when costs, access to technology, marine wildlife and infrastructural impacts are considered.

Spatial and cost implications of these heavy targets have been highlighted by the report as a point to be more intensely contemplated.

It suggests that floating offshore wind must be more readily considered as a means to achieve targets, as it is less restricted by an access to space.

The implications on marine industries such as fishing are something that the report suggests will need to be thought of by stakeholders.

Findings from this report will be used by the UK government when building its next set of targets and aims for the wind sector.

Energy Minister Greg Hands commented: “We are already a world leader in offshore wind. This report will help inform the UK’s future deployment of renewable energy, reducing our exposure to volatile global gas prices and boosting our energy security.”

Will Apps from the Crown Estate added: “This study, supported through our Offshore Wind Evidence and Change Programme, for the first time places the nation’s net zero offshore wind ambitions into a spatial context, providing an excellent evidence base for policymakers, the industry and broader stakeholders to use as they work together to deliver this potential, vital for UK energy security and the green economy.”