New task force to make the most of offshore wind power
Published: 23 May 2019 - Carly Wills
The Offshore Wind Industry Council says a major programme of work has just begun to ensure that the UK’s low carbon energy system makes the best use of the increasingly large proportion of electricity we are generating from renewable sources, including offshore wind.
The new research project, Solving the Integration Challenge, is a key part of the landmark Offshore Wind Sector Deal announced by government and industry in March.
The task force began work on Monday in London and is made up of a wide ranging group of experts and business leaders. They will examine how to the UK can continue to decarbonise by building a reliable modern energy system, managing variability of demand and supply, based on renewable technologies, with offshore wind playing a leading role.
The group will publish a road map identifying pioneering techniques, such as using electricity from offshore wind to generate and store hydrogen as a power source. It will also examine how to introduce more flexibility into our energy system, for example, by expanding battery storage and the use of demand side response (which enables consumers to take advantage of low electricity prices at certain times of day).
Earlier this month the government’s advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, published a report on cutting greenhouse gas emission to net zero by 2050 which highlighted the key role of wind energy in tackling global warming, while also keeping energy bills down for consumers. The report suggested that the UK could increase its offshore wind capacity nearly tenfold by 2050, from 7.9 gigawatts (GW) now to 75GW by 2050.
Baroness Brown of Cambridge, the offshore wind sector champion, said: “There is no doubt about the urgent need to be more ambitious in our plans to decarbonise electricity generation. With the transformative offshore wind sector deal in place, and CCC’s call for more offshore wind, the time is right for the UK to reach out and embrace innovative technologies which will help us to integrate more low-cost power from renewables onto the system. This will benefit consumers and create highly-skilled jobs, as well as leading by example on the global stage in taking practical measures against climate change.”