Energy secretary Claire Perry has announced £60m will be made available for new contracts for difference (CfD) auctions in May next year. Delivering a keynote address to the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) she also announced the UK is not far away from its first Offshore Wind Sector Deal.
The deal is expected to be concluded by Christmas and will join other agreements which have been concluded such as the life sciences deal, automotive sector deal and artificial intelligence deal. The deals facilitate the creation of strong partnerships between industry actors, politicians, civil servants in order to maximise productivity of the sector.
The announcement also follows the news that The Crown Estate is close to finalising the areas of the seabed which will be made available for the fourth offshore leasing round. This round will likely include eight zones and could pave the way for an additional 7GW of grid capacity (EA 27-Nov-18).
Co-chair of the OWIC Benj Sykes said: "This is an important announcement by the minister, taking forward new auctions to deliver on our ambition to meet a third of UK power by 2030. Industry and government are close to agreement on a sector deal that will set the pathway to 30GW and we need to look at the details of how the next auction contributes to that goal."
"We welcome the minister’s announcement that a transformative sector deal is imminent. Offshore wind is becoming an industrial powerhouse. As the minster has made clear, it’s a key technology in our country’s transition to affordable clean power, and the backbone of a low-cost energy system in the years ahead.
"With the right deal in place, we can continue to attract billions of pounds of investment in new infrastructure, secure our power supplies, and create thousands of skilled jobs, including our supply chain which already extends to every part of the country."