The UK government is to invest £250m into a new Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, as part of a sector deal to help reach 30MW of offshore wind projects installed in UK waters by 2030.
The announcement includes investment in supply chain development and energy infrastructure and working with education institutes to enable workers to move between offshore energy sectors.
This will mean for the first time in UK history there will be more electricity from renewables than fossil fuels, the government said.
The joint government-industry Offshore Wind Sector Deal was launched by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as the 10th sector deal from the modern industrial strategy. It aims to source a third of UK electricity from offshore wind. The current offshore installation is just under 8GW.
Claire Perry, energy and clean growth minister, said: “This new sector deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector.
“By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a five-fold increase in exports.” The investment will bring investment into coastal communities, she added.
BEIS said that jobs in the offshore industry could triple to 27,000 by 2030. It also said that the government investment will help to develop the UK supply chain as global exports are set to increase five-fold to £2.6bn by 2030. The government ambition is to make the UK a global leader in renewables, attracting increased investment.
The government will also provide over £4m for UK businesses to share expertise globally and open new markets through a technical assistance programme to help countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Pakistan and the Philippines.
Hugh McNeal, CEO of clean energy lobbying group RenewableUK, said: “The deal will also ensure that the UK maintains its leading role as an offshore wind innovation hub, accelerating out world-class research and development in fields like robotics and artificial intelligence and cutting-edge technologies.”