According to Johnson, that’s absolutely not the case. He said the government would invest £160 million (roughly $207 million) in ports and factories that can develop “the next generation of turbines.” The Prime Minister also promised to deploy floating turbines that can deliver 1GW of offshore wind energy by 2030. “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 Aurora Energy Research, however, though, “almost £50 billion in capital investment” is required to meet the 40GW target. The UK has roughly 10GW of offshore wind power at the moment, so a terrific number will need to be constructed over the next decade. “An average annual installation rate of 260 turbines will need to be sustained over five years, equivalent to one turbine installed every weekday throughout the whole of the 2020s,” Aurora Energy Research calculated back in February.
As the Financial Times reports, the Prime Minister’s speech was a teaser for a broader set of proposals that will be announced later this month. These could cover hydrogen-powered transport, carbon capture technologies, energy-efficient housing and smart cities. The government is also consulting on whether the ban of new fossil fuel cars, currently slated for 2040, should be moved up by five or 10 years. The hope is that all of these measures will help the UK meet its target of hitting net zero carbon emissions by 2050. And, at the same time, create jobs that will offset some of those lost — potentially permanently — by the current pandemic.