Big pledge on climate change
Johnson unveils plan for wind to power all homes
Offshore wind expects a big boost
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today commit the UK to producing sufficient electricity from offshore wind to power every home in the country by 2030.
He will announce a package of support for offshore wind farms in a firm pledge on climate change targets.
Mr Johnson will say that the government will invest in a clean energy future to create “hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs” in the next decade.
“We believe that in 10 years’ time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country, with our target rising from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts,” he will say.
“You heard me right. Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands.”
Boris Johnson: investment pledge
The prime minister is not expected to mention onshore wind – the cheapest form of wind energy which has been subject to tougher planning regulations and lost its subsidy. This has held up the development of wind farms.
Mr Johnson will say that the government will invest £160m in manufacturing the next generation of turbines, including floating windmills capable of delivering 1GW of energy by 2030, over 15 times the current floating offshore volumes worldwide.
There are forecasts of 2,000 construction jobs and support for 60,000 jobs directly and indirectly by 2030 in ports, factories and the supply chains.
“Far out in the deepest waters we will harvest the gusts, and by upgrading infrastructure in places like Teesside and Humber and Scotland and Wales we will increase an offshore wind capacity that is already the biggest in the world,” Johnson is expected to say.
“As Saudi Arabia is to oil, the UK is to wind – a place of almost limitless resource, but in the case of wind without the carbon emissions and without the damage to the environment.
“I remember how some people used to sneer at wind power, 20 years ago, and say that it wouldn’t pull the skin off a rice pudding. They forgot the history of this country. It was offshore wind that puffed the sails of Drake and Raleigh and Nelson, and propelled this country to commercial greatness.“
The UK’s offshore wind capacity currently provides 10% of electricity demand and is the largest in the world.
Mr Johnson wants to new wind farm technology in the North Sea to be built in deeper waters where the winds are strongest.
At the Tory party’s virtual conference, he will say: “Our seas hold immense potential to power our homes and communities with low-cost green energy and we are already leading the way in harnessing its strengths.”
He is expected to unveil a much bigger green infrastructure package later this year after the jobs furlough scheme comes to an end.
There will be a new focus on hydrogen-fuelled lorries, trains and aircraft, retrofitting homes and more money to be spent on carbon capture and storage technology.