The UK government has been urged to remove barriers to the further expansion of offshore wind, including allowing Ofgem to consider alternative methods for grid connection, by parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC).
Chair of the committee Philip Dunne MP (pictured) has written to Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng highlighting remaining barriers for expansion of offshore wind energy in the UK and how they can be overcome.
EAC said connecting to electricity grid remains a challenging issue for new wind farms.
The current approach offers each developer a bespoke single connection, with multiple wind farms creating significant impacts from cabling to the local environment and communities.
“In order to minimise these impacts on communities and drive efficiency for operators, it is key that Ofgem considers alternative methods for grid connection to enable developers more flexibility to support greater use,” EAC said.
It also noted that demand for deep water ports is getting greater with the increased size of turbine blades and support needed for floating wind farms.
“But the UK’s deep water ports are already reaching capacity, limiting further progress,” the committee said.
The government should look to the examples of France and other European countries that have invested significantly in deep water ports, and clarify how it is supporting port investment and co-location of technology clusters to develop competitive advantage, it added . . . .
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