The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has announced a £160 million plan for offshore wind farms that will directly create 2,000 construction jobs and support 60,000 more by 2030.
The plan promises that every home in the UK will be powered by offshore wind energy within the decade, making the country “the world leader in clean wind energy”. The planned capacity for offshore wind power will be raised from 30 to 40 gigawatts.
To achieve this the government will be investing £160 million to upgrade ports and factories for building turbines. Some of this will go directly to the manufacture of the next generation of turbines, including floating windmills with a 1GW capacity – 15 times the current capabilities.
These facilities are where most of the direct jobs will be created, mostly in Teesside and Humber with other sites to be announced in Scotland and Wales. The infrastructure will also provide for much greater job creation in the supply chain and through other indirect means.
“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,” the Prime Minister will announce in a conference speech later this morning.
“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.”
The Prime Minister will announce the plan in a virtual conference, where he is expected to say that the government’s investment will create “hundreds of thousands, if not millions of jobs” over the next 10 years.
The investment announcement will be the first step in a 10-point plan labelled “Build Back Greener”, with further targets and investments into industries, innovation and infrastructure to be announced later in the year, with the aim to reach net-zero emissions across the country by 2050.
“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,” the Prime Minister will say.
“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.”
Johnson has previously announced a desire for the UK to take the lead in carbon capture and storage technology as well as increasing nuclear power in the energy mix. As oil and gas struggles, these investment pledges will be welcome news to those seeking future jobs in the energy industry.