The UK Government has promised that every home in the UK will be powered by wind by 2030, as it invests in floating wind turbines.
In last week’s Budget, it was revealed that the UK Government was investing in new infrastructure at ports throughout the UK to enable the roll-out of the next generation of offshore wind farms. Now the Government is spending another £20 million to unlock the full potential of floating offshore wind technology.
Back in 2019, the International Energy Agency noted that floating turbines could provide enough electricity to power Europe, the US and Japan. This is because floating wind farms can be placed further out to sea where winds are stronger, as they don’t need to rely on shallow sea beds. Now, the UK Government is pinning its hopes on powering the UK using the technology.
The UK has piloted the floating wind farm concept, with the 30 MW Hywind Scotland pilot park beginning operation back in 2017 as the world’s first floating wind farm. At the time the Hywind Scotland wind farm proved that you could build a floating wind farm at scale, which the UK Government is clearly eager to endorse.
The new £20 million worth of funding is designed to target the development of new technologies that will support floating wind farms. The Government says that these technologies could include advancing vital components such as dynamic high voltage cable systems, moorings for challenging seabed conditions and foundations.
What happens when the wind stops blowing?
It’s all well and good, promising that homes in the UK will be fully powered by wind energy by 2030, but what happens when the winds stop blowing? Well, that’s where the second part of the Government’s new commitment comes in – investing in energy storage.
New funding worth £68 million will further the development of energy storage technologies to support a future renewable energy system. These new innovations will accelerate the commercialisation of a first-of-a-kind storage that can hold energy from wind turbines and solar panels, as well as heat, over long periods of time, including months and years, until it is needed by consumers.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Energy Minister, commented, “The UK’s energy innovators have been vital to us becoming a world-leader in clean green technology, helping us to go further and faster as we tackle climate change.
“This funding will allow us to develop new ways of unlocking the potential for green energy as we continue making big strides towards our goal of eradicating our contribution to climate change by 2050.”