New Build Back Greener plans are designed to support 60,000 jobs and contribute to net zero emissions by 2020.
Announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson this month, the UK aims to become a world leader in clean green wind energy, an ambition designed to slash emissions, create jobs and boost the economy. Announcing the plan, Johnson said that the sea holds great potential to power homes and businesses in the UK with low cost green energy.
Business secretary Alok Sharma explained the twin benefits of job creation and cheap green energy coming from a planned 60% of wind farm capacity. He acknowledged that the plan to power every home was 'hugely ambitious' but was critical to achieving 2050 targets and implementing the Build Back Greener agenda.
The planned new investment will make £160 million available to communities across Scotland, Wales and the North to upgrade ports and infrastructure and hugely increase offshore wind capacity. The UK are already world leaders in wind power with 10% of UK electricity demand met by the technology.
The new investment is expected to create 2,000 construction jobs immediately while eventually supporting a predicted 60,000 jobs both directly and indirectly in factories, supply chains, ports and wind turbine manufacturing.
The plan is also expected to empower smaller suppliers who will be better placed to win orders and investment as part of the government's commitment to being at the forefront of the so-called Green Industrial Revolution and creating tens of thousands of highly skilled jobs.
Legally binding targets
The government has legally committed the UK to an ambitious target of being net zero by 2050. The new measures are hoped to accelerate that progression by boosting wind power generation from 30GW to 40GW, more than enough to provide for the UK's domestic energy needs by 2030.
The new plans also create a target of 1GW for floating wind, over 15 times the current worldwide volume. This new technology allows wind farms to be constructed further out to sea in deeper waters where winds are strongest.
In addition the target for renewable energy capacity will be doubled in the next Contracts for Difference auction due to open in late 2021. This should power up to 10 million British homes with clean and low cost energy.
These commitments form part of a 10 point plan for the UK's Green Industrial Revolution to be set out later in the year.
The plan was met favourably by leaders in the energy industry who support the continued decarbonisation of the UK's energy sector. The deployment of GE's Haliade-X technology on the Dogger Bank wind farm and the investment in green skills takes the UK another step closer to meeting the 2050 target.
The UK's unique geographical positioning and the exploitation of deep water wind farms makes wind one of the UK's biggest renewable energy resources. Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the CBI, applauded the government for reigniting business investment and creating new green jobs, calling the plans the 'right response' to the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.