Cut consenting times to speed up offshore wind installation, says OEUK

The UK must double or even triple the rate of offshore wind turbine installations to meet its target of a four-fold increase in offshore renewable energy by 2030, according to a new report from Offshore Energies UK (OEUK).
The organisation says its research shows that nearly half the offshore wind projects needed to reach the government’s 2030 target are at the concept stage, which is at least 13 years from operation. Many take longer, due to delays in government planning and approval processes.
The UK has 2,500 offshore wind turbines which produced 12% of the nation’s electricity last year, and the government’s strategy is to increase that four-fold by bringing installed offshore wind capacity to 50GW by 2030 – replacing part of the gas in the current generation mix.
That means the UK will need to install around 3,200 new, larger, wind turbines by 2030 – roughly three new turbines every two days, says OEUK’s report. It says this is achievable but needs four actions from government:
• Cut planning consent times from four years to one.
• Streamline the Environmental Assessment process
• Cut red tape using the government’s Offshore Wind Acceleration Task Force
• Create a fast-track planning process for non-controversial projects

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