The following article is a guest post by Maren Strandevold, an energy lawyer and an associate at the international commercial law firm Haynes and Boone.
In response to the recent offshore wind announcement by the UK’s Prime Minister, Maren Strandevold discusses the need for adequate funding allocated in the correct areas, a streamlined regulatory regime, and the need for new technology and innovation.
On 6 October 2020, Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke at the Conservative Party conference about the future of offshore wind. He claimed, among other things, that the UK can become the “Saudi Arabia of wind.” He also stated that he would spend £160 million to upgrade ports and factories for building wind turbines and raised the garget for offshore wind power capacity from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts by 2030.
The ambition to “build back greener” is laudable, but in order for it to become a viable and successful enterprise, you need more than targets and good intentions. It is important to consider the role of offshore wind in the energy mix, to have a clear and transparent regulatory regime and to ensure that funding is targeted where it can be put to best use.
The Energy Mix
Offshore wind is a significant source of renewable energy and will be a key part of the energy transition. It is not, however, capable of meeting all of our energy needs. Several manufacturing and heavy industry processes require a level of heat that cannot be reached using electricity. There are also issues with reliability.
Offshore wind farms are weather-dependent, meaning that supply can be interrupted by a lack of wind. We are therefore still reliant on gas to provide a back-up when the renewable sources are insufficient.
Excerpted from Offshore Energy Today. To read the full article, click here.
The article was also published in OffshoreWIND.biz.