Offshore Wind Sector Deal ‘woefully inadequate’ after collapse of new nuclear deals. The government’s new Offshore Wind Sector Deal, committing the UK to increasing its offshore wind capacity to 30GW by 2030, has been praised as an ambitious step towards decarbonising the UK’s energy sector. However, as the government’s new nuclear reactor programme now appears unlikely to produce more than one new power station by 2030, and certainly not the six planned, there is a huge shortfall in the UK’s projected energy capacity in the second half of the next decade. This needs to be filled with low-carbon sources in order for the UK to meet its legally binding climate targets and address the moral urgency of the climate crisis. This briefing – www.greenpeace.org.uk/energygap – explores the policy responses needed to meet that shortfall. It concludes that offshore wind will need to be producing at least 45GW by 2030, and possibly more, depending on whether the government also supports more solar and onshore wind. John Sauven, Executive Director of Greenpeace UK, said – “The Government’s plans for a fleet of new nuclear reactors has collapsed. This leaves Britain with a big energy gap in future. It means the Government’s latest offshore wind target of 30GW by 2030 is woefully inadequate. Renewable power now presents the best opportunity for cheaper, cleaner and faster decarbonisation. Wind and solar must be tripled between now and 2030, with offshore wind the future backbone of the UK’s energy system. It’s a technology where the UK is already a global leader. And we could turn that leadership into more jobs and opportunities to export British know-how to the rest of the world.” Rachel Reeves, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee said: “Investment decisions over nuclear plants at sites such as Moorside and Wylfa have left the UK facing a giant hole in its energy policy. This heightens concerns that the Government is not doing more to encourage alternatives such as offshore wind and other renewables. Given dirty coal is due to go off-line, and the prospects for nuclear looking uncertain, it’s vital the Government comes forward with a Plan B to plug the energy gap. This alternative plan must ensure security of supply and address the pressing need to decarbonise the UK’s power generation. Renewable energy offers significant opportunities for UK jobs, for business, and for industry and Government must take a fresh look at creating the right environment for attracting investment in future energy capacity, including renewables.” Matthew Wright from Orsted, the largest offshore wind farm developer, has previously said to Business Green that -“If the government needs more [capacity than in the Sector Deal] then within reason I think we can deliver. The nice thing about offshore wind is we have established a track record of delivery, on time, on budget, and a good safety record.” SSE Chief Executive, Alistair Phillips-Davies, said earlier this year that – “It is time to aim higher and seize the opportunity that offshore wind brings.” The Government has recently indicated its support for a smart, flexible system that will be capable of dealing with renewable power’s natural intermittency alongside more interconnectors with Europe. These technologies are now growing significantly and dropping in price. Battery storage alone has fallen in price by 79% since 2010. This means that ‘baseload’ i.e. continuous power from inflexible power stations – such as nuclear – is no longer needed. https://about.bnef.com/blog/tumbling-costs-wind-solar-batteries-squeezing-fossil-fuels/
Greenpeace 7th March 2019 read more »
The offshore wind industry is welcoming today’s landmark announcement of a Sector Deal with the government. The agreement will help to create tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs across the UK and attract billions of pounds in investment to this country. This is the first Sector Deal for a renewable energy technology. It puts offshore wind at the centre of the nation’s clean, affordable and reliable energy system, almost quadrupling our capacity from 7.9 gigawatts now to at least 30GW by 2030, generating one-third of our electricity. The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind, with more capacity than any other country, the biggest offshore wind farms and the most powerful turbines. The supply chain extends to every part of the country, and UK companies are already exporting our offshore wind products and services to more than 20 countries. With the Sector Deal now in place, those exports are set to increase fivefold in value to £2.6 billion a year by 2030. The Sector Deal builds on our nation’s success, notably by the industry investing up to £250m to develop the UK supply chain, increasing productivity and fostering innovation. This includes an investment of up to £100m in a new industry programme, the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, which will help UK companies seeking to grow their business in the rapidly-growing global offshore wind market, as well as a new initiative to develop skills for the sector.
Renewable UK 7th March 2019 read more »
The government will throw its weight behind an expansion in the use of offshore wind power in the hope the renewable energy source will provide a third of the UK’s electricity by 2030. In a deal between the government and the offshore wind sector, industry players have agreed to invest £250m over the next 11 years in exchange for participation in £557m of state subsidies for renewable energy. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said the deal could result in the number of jobs in offshore wind tripling to 27,000 by 2030, boosting the economies of coastal communities near major projects.
Guardian 7th March 2019 read more »
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FT 7th March 2019 read more »
CLAIRE PERRY: Renewables are set to outstrip fossil fuels by 2030. Twenty years ago, the UK had just two offshore wind turbines. Technically speaking these were little more than onshore turbines with wellies on, spindly things producing just enough electricity to power 300 UK homes. The industry was in its infancy and progress stuttered due to insufficient capital, uncertainty around government backing and a lack of skills and ambition in the area. Fast forward to today, and the picture is very different. A shared vision from Government and industry now means our UK waters our home to 2,000 turbines soaring to heights of up to 200 metres – taller than the London Gherkin – delivering renewable clean energy supporting tens of thousands of jobs and resulting in billions of pounds worth of investment into the UK. Installation costs have tumbled thanks to design and installation innovation and an auction structure for power that has also helped drive costs down by 50pc in the last two years – a reduction trajectory that a tech firm would be proud of let alone a mechanical engineering industry. We now have the largest installed wind base in the world attracting huge levels of capital investment. Today’s Sector Deal will build on this success to hit the major milestone of clean renewable energy outstripping fossil fuel energy by 2030. The unique combination around our island nation of high winds and shallow waters means we are perfectly placed to capitalise on this precious resource, spearheading a revolution in global energy production. The wind blows more regularly offshore and our innovation success means additional costs of placing offshore turbines is tumbling further. As set out in our modern Industrial Strategy, decarbonising our economy can, and will, deliver transformative growth and opportunity to transform our economy – creating thousands of highly skilled, well paid jobs up and down the country and reinvigorating coastal communities. The transformation of the power sector over the past few years is a true UK success story, thanks to £52bn of investment in renewable projects in the UK since 2010. The successful development of offshore wind and innovative clean technologies define what the UK’s post-Brexit blueprint could, and should look like. Through the offshore wind revolution, we’re securing an energy market fit for the future, and creating a legacy to rival that of James Watts’ steam engine revolution. Today’s new government and industry partnership will see £250m of investment from UK suppliers driven into the industry and a commitment for 60pc of offshore wind parts to be made in the UK over the next 10 years. Thanks to this Sector Deal there’s never been a better time for local business to get behind this revolution and it’s important our ambition for the industry delivers good jobs for workers both working on offshore windfarms and in the supply chain.
Telegraph 6th March 2019 read more »
The government has long eyed the sector, in which the UK is a genuine world leader, as a major growth opportunity for UK manufacturing and exports. It underscored this ambition today with the release of the long-awaited Sector Deal, which sets out how government and industry can work together to grow the offshore wind sector towards a new goal of providing one third of UK electricity by 2030. But reaction was not universally positive. Greenpeace dismissed the plan as “woefully inadequate”, pointing out that following the collapse of a series of high-profile plans to build large new nuclear plants, the UK will need more low-carbon generation sources to plug a potential energy supply gap in the 2020s. According to Greenpeace, to make up for a predicted shortfall in nuclear generation, offshore wind needs to hit 45GW of capacity by 2030. “The government’s plans for a fleet of new nuclear reactors has collapsed,” said Greenpeace UK’s executive director John Sauven. “This leaves Britain with a big energy gap in future. It means the government’s latest offshore wind target of 30GW by 2030 is woefully inadequate.”
Business Green 7th March 2019 read more »
SCOTLAND is set for a multi-billion economic boost under plans to dramatically increase the number of offshore windfarms around Britain’s coastline. Under the plan, one third of all Britain’s electricity will come from offshore wind by 2030 as the UK Government unveils a new deal with the industry as part of its ongoing industrial strategy to kickstart manufacturing.
Herald 7th March 2019 read more »
The UK government has confirmed a sector deal with the offshore wind industry to help it reach 30GW of installed capacity in UK waters by 2030, up from just under 8.2GW today. Investment in supply chain development and energy infrastructure, working with further education institutes, and enabling workers to move between offshore energy sectors, are at the heart of a long-awaited sector deal between industry and government. The sector deal is also designed to help the UK offshore wind industry boost global exports five-fold to £2.6 billion (€3 billion) a year by 2030, the UK’s department of business, energy and industrial strategy (BEIS) stated. It also aims to increase the number of skilled jobs in the UK offshore wind sector from 7,200 today to 27,000 by 2030.
Windpower Offshore 7th March 2019 read more »
Belfast Newsletter 7th March 2019 read more »
The National 7th March 2019 read more »
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BBC 7th March 2019 read more »
“RMT is concerned that the offshore wind industry has already adopted a regressive business model based on sub-contracting and de-regulation. Costs cut on that basis are a completely false economy and inhibit job creation. “We need high employment and safety standards across the offshore energy sector, ensuring that UK law applies and is enforced for all current and future energy workers on the UK Continental Shelf. This would protect pay and conditions for workers across the offshore wind supply chain, from seafarers transporting infrastructure and expertise to the skilled women and men required to install wind turbines and connect them to the grid.
RMT 7th March 2019 read more »
Trade unions are furious that lucrative contracts for offshore wind farms have been awarded to overseas firms who are heavily supported by state subsidies. The GMB at BiFab and Unite have today demanded a ‘level playing field’ if Scotland is to secure the large-scale manufacturing contracts from its own offshore renewables sector – and they are asking the First Minister and the Scottish Parliament to intervene. Their call coincides with the launch of an initiative from UK Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry to support the UK supply chain in ensuring 30% of British power is generated by wind by 2030.
Daily Business 7th March 2019 read more »
The best hope for bringing major contracts to Scotland for the building of multi-billion pound offshore wind farms has failed to win a vital order, according to unions. BiFab is believed to have lost out on an order for offshore platforms to yards in Belgium, Spain and the UAE. The company has two mothballed fabrication yards in Fife. Unite and the GMB say the failure to place any of the order for 100 steel jackets in Scotland is a “scandal”.
BBC 7th March 2019 read more »
A yard in the Western Isles mothballed about a year ago has been brought back into use to build supports for offshore wind turbines. The contract to manufacture the piles will create work for 82 people at its peak at Arnish, near Stornoway in Lewis. The fabrication yard is operated by BiFab, which is owned by Canadian company DF Barnes. The supports are for the 100-turbine Moray East scheme in the Moray Firth. Arnish had been inactive for about a year when a contract linked to the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm came to an end.
BBC 7th March 2019 read more »
Times 7th March 2019 read more »
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Britain needs a new economy that works for everyone and to move beyond the old, broken systems and status quo that left many people behind. A green new deal for the UK could give us just that. Climate change has muscled its way back onto the political agenda. It was debated by MPs last week for the first time in two years. It seems that the momentum around Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Ed Markey’s green new deal in the US, the audacious climate march on Westminster by schoolchildren last month and increasingly rising temperatures may have finally jolted our politicians out of their climate stupor. Four months ago, a group of experts on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered the news that the world must halve carbon emissions in a little over a decade. Responding would require an almighty push to green our economy – one that would touch on every aspect of our lives. Despite this stark warning from scientists, the political establishment in Westminster barely flinched. There was no commitment to redouble our efforts, no renewed urgency or call to action. Instead, our politics continued to be consumed by Brexit. But the IPCC report was a sobering wake-up call for many. A movement of activists in the US, backed by a new generation of Democrats, including the Justice Democrats, are reacting with the urgency needed. The green new deal – an idea that came from organisations including the New Economics Foundation (NEF) a decade ago – has emerged as a forceful response. The idea is simple: an unprecedented mobilisation of resources to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy and eliminating greenhouse gas emissions within a decade while creating millions of jobs and lifting living standards.
Times 7th March 2019 read more »