The Environmental Audit Committee has asked the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) with steps BEIS should take to help the UK capitalise on its lead in offshore wind. The committee says offshore wind is a “brilliant British success story” but it wants the government to take a more strategic and less piecemeal approach, both to speed UK development and boost the UK export industry.
In a letter the Committee asks BEIS to:
- Ask Ofgem to ensure that its review of offshore connection structures provides an independent recommendation for expanding capacity that focuses on the most efficient long term use of infrastructure – and ensure changes can be implemented quickly.
- Explain what cross-departmental steps the Government is taking to improve the strategic planning for the siting of offshore wind. It wants to involve DEFRA, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Transport and the Ministry of Defence to take a more strategic approach involving marine planning, rather than piecemeal leasing and planning applications.
- Include a separate strike price for floating offshore wind in the next round of CfD auctions
- Provide funding to encourage SMEs to enter the offshore wind supply chain?
- Liaising with DIT and the FCO to create a strategic framework for promoting offshore wind, and other low-carbon products and services with export potential, within our climate diplomacy for COP26 and provide export financing.
- Explain how it is supporting port investment and technology clusters to develop competitive advantage for the UK offshore wind industry.
Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said: “The government rightly has set ambitious targets to increase offshore wind energy generation, but achieving and exceeding them will require the government to support the sector even more.
“From ensuring the grid is capable of taking energy from expanding sites, to paving the way for deep water port infrastructure necessary for larger turbine blades, we can seize the opportunity to generate more energy through offshore wind as we move to a low carbon economy. Offshore wind has to play an even more significant role if the UK is to meet net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
Read the letter in full here