Decarbonisation of the UK’s electricity supply will require significantly increased deployment of offshore wind during the 2020s, representing potentially billions of pounds worth of investment into the UK offshore wind supply chain. However short-term policy, regulatory and funding issues are causing large numbers of offshore wind projects to be shelved, putting these benefits at risk.
Our 2015 report, Growing the UK's coastal economy: learning from the success of offshore wind in Grimsby, made two recommendations for government action to prevent progress from stalling in the offshore wind sector.
We also showed how the government could reverse this trend by adopting a “commit and review” approach, which would guarantee a minimum market size for offshore wind during the 2020s, provided the industry can deliver significant cost reductions.
Our 2014 report, UK offshore wind in the 2020s, made five recommendations for how government could deliver this in practice.
We were invited by the Offshore Wind Programme Board to discuss our conclusions; and in a survey of senior industry executives carried out for the Committee on Climate Change, our concept of ‘commit and review’ was strongly endorsed. The UK government, in line with our recommendations, also announced it would extend the Levy Control Framework into the 2020s, and committed to supporting 10GW of offshore wind, so long as industry cost reduction continues.