The UK government is to make £160m (€175m) available to upgrade ports and infrastructure for developing offshore wind farms. The aim is to boost the UK’s wind power from 30GW to 40GW by 2030.
The move will benefit technology companies such as Schneider Electric, Orsted, MHI Vestas and Siemens as it shifts the way power is stored. This also raises issues for software technologies to manage the energy grid.
The UK already has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world, with around 10GW in operation off its coasts. However the investment is particularly focussed on floating offshore wind energy to deliver 1GW by 2030. While this is a small fraction of the overall target, it is 15 times the current volumes worldwide.
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This will allow wind farms to be built further out to sea in deeper waters, but brings significant technology challenges for European cable companies such as Nexans and Prysmian to deliver the energy back to the mainland. As an alternative Siemens is looking at generating hydrogen with the power to store the energy.
“This is an ambitious announcement by the government. Offshore wind with hydrogen energy storage can provide reliable clean energy and will be vital to achieving net zero. The UK’s unique position means we can be at the forefront of developing deeper sea waters and the supply chain will welcome the commitment from Government in this innovative area,” said Steve Scrimshaw, Vice President, Siemens Energy UK&I.
“We welcome today’s announcement from the government which will unlock huge opportunities for world class UK supply chain companies, both domestically and overseas, to market the skills and innovative technologies that have been fostered in the UK offshore wind industry,” said Duncan Clark, Head of UK Region for Danish turbine supplier