In February 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced £160m for developing turbines to make the country greener. In addition to making the UK world leader in clean wind energy, the plan aims to create thousands of job opportunities in construction and other areas.
The Boris Johnson wind power speech was scheduled in September 2020. But, the the timetable slipped due to the global pandemic.
In this speech, the PM has pledged to power every UK home with offshore wind energy by 2030. This will also help reduce business costs. During this announcement, Mr. Johnson compared the country’s offshore wind resources to Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth.
“As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind.”
Mr. Johnson plans to rebuild the UK economy that is hit by COVID-19. He also plans to tackle the growing unemployment by guaranteeing 50,000+ jobs following the adoption of wind energy.
The whole package will reportedly help use hydrogen as a fuel for industries and spur carbon capture technology. Those familiar with the plan also claim a ban on selling petrol cars nationwide.
Is Offshore Wind Power Really the Future?
The size and scale of offshore wind farms are bigger in comparison with the UK’s onshore counterparts. Therefore, the offshore route has a high potential to produce more electricity.
It also causes little to no effects on the countryside landscape as well as the wildlife. These can further help the environment in addition to minimizing the nation’s fossil fuel consumption.
From Scotland to Wales, all local communities will gain from their infrastructure upgrades. Smaller suppliers will win orders and investment from energy firms worldwide, thus helping UK SME businesses to improve their international existence.
Developers win licenses for offshore wind projects.
Oil companies including BP and Total won the first Crown Estate auction of seabed licenses. As a result, the firms are paving their way for nearly six offshore wind projects in British waters.
The Crown Estate refers to a collection of the UK’s lands and holdings. It belongs to the monarch, which makes it the sovereign’s public property. It’s neither government property nor the monarch’s private estate.
This new wind energy scheme, explained in the Boris Johnson wind power speech, is projected to increase the UK’s offshore wind capacity by nearly 8GW. As a result, the UK government could set a target to quadrupling the amount of offshore wind to up to 40G by 2030.
Energy Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan says that wind energy will power UK homes while eliminating the UK’s carbon emissions by 2050.
Probability of the Project’s Realization
The whole project still needs more environmental assessments and permissions to get realized. But, after the PM’s promise to power the country with wind, most industry experts are confident that the scheme will become a reality soon.
Melanie Onn, CEO of RenewableUK, says that offshore wind will serve as the backbone of the UK’s future electricity system. He adds that the growth of offshore wind projects helps ensure the capacity needed to run this project. These new schemes could decarbonize the country’s energy system, helping it achieve net zero.