“With the significantly higher levels of deployment needed to 2050 to meet [the UK's plans for] net zero it makes sense to consider the risk of cumulative impacts (environmental, radar interference, conflicting uses of the sea for example) which could increasingly affect the ability for fixed bottom wind deployment to be realised,” said DBEIS.
“Should such risks materialise it is likely that the commercial deployment of floating offshore wind will be needed sooner than previously anticipated and at greater levels, particularly during the 2030s.”
“Given the still relatively early stage of development of the floating offshore wind sector it may be necessary to consider introducing measures over the coming years to encourage early deployment and cost reduction.
“This would allow larger scale deployment to begin during the 2030s without a deployment hiatus which could jeopardise maintaining our decarbonisation trajectory and at lower cost than would otherwise be possible,” said DBEIS officials.
“We can see this as a positive signal that floating wind is finally being acknowledged as an important part of the future renewable energy mix,” while reserving full judgement until DBEIS makes its final decisions.
“WFO’s newly created Floating Offshore Wind Committee is going to proactively support the UK and its industry in becoming a global leader in floating wind.”
A recent study says that often wind, solar and hydro schemes have been built inareas of environmental significance and pose a threat to key natural habitats. The authors of the report say that greater care must be taken when planning and permitting renewable facilities. "If we let these developments go ahead, the biodiversity will be gone long before climate change starts affecting it.....we are not saying that renewables are bad, we just need to put them in the right places."
European grid operators want to combine 10-gigawatt offshore turbine clusters, interconnectors and hydrogen. It no longer looks like a pipe dream.