U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson has affirmed government plans to ensure that the entire country is powered by offshore wind energy by 2030. Speaking at a virtual conservative party meeting, he reiterated his promise, saying that renewable energy will be used to power all homes in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales by the end of the decade.
“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 said.
To fulfill this ambitious plan, the U.K. government will be required to generate at least 40GW of energy with its offshore wind turbines. In 2019, the government had committed to generating 30GW via wind energy. Johnson promised to increase that to 40GW following a party victory in December 2019 elections.
While the plan to generate 100% green energy for the U.K. is positive news, the project faces various challenges. The pandemic has caused financial difficulties, but Johnson assured conference viewers that the government will invest £160 million ($207 million) to develop improved turbines to meet the goal. Johnson said the government will also deploy floating turbines to generate at least 1GW of offshore wind energy.
“The government has raised the ambition for offshore wind and renewables, and our industry is ready to meet the challenge,” Hugh McNeal, CEO of trade association RenewableUK, said.
According to an analysis done by Aurora Energy Research, almost £50 billion ($64.8 billion) will be required to generate 40GW of wind energy. The U.K. currently has about 10GW of offshore wind power. The analysis also shows that the government will have to install an average of 260 turbines per year over five years to meet the target.
Image via Thomas G.