New task force to make the most of offshore wind power using innovative technology
21 May 2019
Posted by: Rob Norris
Offshore Wind Industry Council media release – Tuesday 21st May 2019
The Offshore Wind Industry Council says a major programme of work has just begun to ensure that the UK’s low-carbon energy system makes the best use of the increasingly large proportion of electricity we are generating from renewable sources, including offshore wind.
The new research project, Solving the Integration Challenge, is a key part of the landmark Offshore Wind Sector Deal announced by Government and industry in March.
The task force began work on Monday in London. It is led by Baroness Brown of Cambridge, the industry’s Offshore Wind Sector Champion, and includes senior representatives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Scottish Government, the Committee on Climate Change, National Grid, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the Energy Systems Catapult, Atkins, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and companies including ITM, Good Energy, Shell, Equinor, Vattenfall and Ørsted.
This wide-ranging group of experts and business leaders will examine how to the UK can continue to decarbonise by building a reliable modern energy system, managing variability of demand and supply, based on renewable technologies, with offshore wind playing a leading role.
The group will publish a road map identifying pioneering techniques, such as using electricity from offshore wind to generate and store hydrogen as a power source. It will also examine how to introduce more flexibility into our energy system, for example by expanding battery storage and the use of demand side response (which enables consumers to take advantage of low electricity prices at certain times of day).
Earlier this month the Government’s advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, published a report on cutting greenhouse gas emission to net zero by 2050 which highlighted the key role of wind energy in tackling global warming while also keeping energy bills down for consumers. The report suggested that the UK could increase its offshore wind capacity nearly tenfold by 2050, from 7.9 gigawatts (GW) now to 75GW by 2050.
Baroness Brown of Cambridge, the Offshore Wind Sector Champion, said:
“There is no doubt about the urgent need to be more ambitious in our plans to decarbonise electricity generation. With the transformative Offshore Wind Sector Deal in place, and CCC’s call for more offshore wind, the time is right for the UK to reach out and embrace innovative technologies which will help us to integrate more low-cost power from renewables onto the system. This will benefit consumers and create highly-skilled jobs, as well as leading by example on the global stage in taking practical measures against climate change.
“I look forward to working with a wide range of experts from other parts of the energy sector, Government, the UK’s world-leading universities and the Offshore Renewable Energy and the Energy Systems Catapults, to strengthen offshore wind’s role in providing reliable solutions for the UK’s energy needs.”
For further information, please contact:
The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), a senior Government and industry forum, was established in May 2013 to drive the development of the world-leading offshore wind sector in the UK. More details on OWIC are available here.
The offshore wind industry and Government agreed a transformative Sector Deal in March. Offshore wind capacity is set to almost quadruple from 7.9 gigawatts now to at least 30GW by 2030, generating more than one-third of our electricity.
The industry will employ 27,000 in highly skilled jobs. The supply chain already extends to every part of the UK, with companies exporting our offshore wind products and services to 22 countries. The Sector Deal includes measures to ensure that UK offshore wind exports are set to increase fivefold in value to £2.6 billion a year by 2030. More details of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal are available here.
RenewableUK’s members are building our future energy system, powered by clean electricity. We bring them together to deliver that future faster; a future which is better for industry, billpayers, and the environment. We support over 400 member companies to ensure increasing amounts of renewable electricity are deployed across the UK and access markets to export all over the world. Our members are business leaders, technology innovators, and expert thinkers from right across industry.
The UK is the world leader in offshore wind, with more capacity than any other country, the biggest offshore wind farms and the most powerful turbines. Offshore wind generated 8% of the UK electricity in 2018. The UK’s offshore wind fleet generates enough electricity to power over 7 million homes a year.
Renewables overall generated 33.3% of the UK’s electricity in 2018.
Some offshore wind projects already include battery storage, which offers flexibility to system operators. These operational projects include Burbo Bank in Liverpool Bay and the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, Hywind in Scotland.
The Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero report is available here.