2018 was a big year in the offshore energy sector, with the addition of 8 new wind farms installed off the UK coast and an extra 2 gigawatts of power creating enough energy for more than 2 million homes. Today, the country’s total offshore wind capacity stands at 2121 megawatts; a notable increase from the 1154MW capacity just 7 years ago.
This rapid growth has resulted in offshore wind becoming the very first form of renewable energy to enter into a sector deal with the UK Government, as recently announced by Energy and Clean Growth Minister, Claire Perry. The deal is expected to increase the value of exports and potentially create thousands of new jobs in the field.
It is estimated that the value of exports could rise to £2.6 billion over the next 10 years, with the Department of Trade suggesting that the majority of power would be exported to Europe, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States. And in terms of jobs, 27,000 positions are anticipated to exist by 2030, which is triple the number of people working in offshore wind in the UK today. Energy & Utility Skills Limited claims that engineers and scientists will likely be amongst the most in-demand professionals.
The UK is faring significantly better than other countries from an offshore wind perspective. We’re home to the biggest wind farm in the world (Walney Extension off the Cumbrian coast), and the country boasts 6 of the 10 biggest wind farms across the globe. The UK currently holds top ranking for offshore wind power capacity, with Germany coming in second place. Together, these two countries generate around two thirds of total offshore wind power globally, highlighting the UK’s impressive successes.
By 2030, it is hoped that one third of all energy in the UK will be generated by offshore wind, taking renewables to the forefront of the energy industry and generating more power than fossil fuels for the first time in history. This is really only the very beginning….
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