Although 8 GW of wind power have been built or planned around U.K. shores, Energy Minister Lord Hunt says it could accommodate 26 GW more. This conclusion, a result of the Government’s Strategic Environmental Assessment, will progress with a third round of leasing in UK’s waters for offshore wind farms. Officials in the U.K. think offshore wind has potential to generate up to 70,000 new jobs worth $13.2 billion. “Offshore wind is fundamental to delivering our target of 15% renewable energy by 2020,” says Hunt. “We’re already the world’s number one offshore wind power. With the right support, we can grow the industry even further, supporting tens of thousands of high value, green manufacturing jobs. This presents a huge opportunity for the UK wind industry.”
With that, the Crown Estate launched Round 3 of offshore wind in June 2008. The decision means authorities can proceed with negotiations and award development rights. The UK government has also released A Prevailing Wind: Advancing UK Offshore Wind Deployment that sets out work that will guide the industry’s expansion. “The UK’s offshore renewable energy program, Rounds 1, 2, and 3, aims to deliver 33 GW by 2020, 25% of the UK electricity needs,” adds Hunt.
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