Humber region to benefit from £260m offshore wind investment
More than £260m has been granted in Government funding to develop next generation wind turbines in the Humber region, in a move that will support the UK's net-zero vision while creating and safeguarding more than 1,000 green jobs.
The funding has been provided to Siemens Gamesa and GRI Renewable Industries to increase capacity for both wind turbine blades and tower manufacturing in the Humber region.
Siemens Gamesa will invest £186m to expand an existing blade manufacturing site near Hull. The move will create and safeguard more than 1,000 UK green jobs.
Additionally, GRI Renewable Industries has gained access to £78m to invest in an offshore wind turbine tower factory at the Able Marine Energy Park near North Killingholme on the Humber bank. The investment will create 260 new jobs. GRI Renewable Industries is the second company to receive funding at this site. Last month, Korean SeAH Wind received grant funding for a new £117m offshore wind manufacturing facility.
Part of the funding has been provided by the Government’s £160m Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Support Scheme, which was launched off the back of the Ten Point Plan issued by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “The Humber region embodies the UK’s green industrial revolution, with new investment into developing the next generation of wind turbines set to create new jobs, export opportunities and clean power across the country.”
The investment will provide a welcome boost to the UK’s renewables aspirations on the road to net-zero. The Ten Point Plan features a headline commitment for the UK to host 40GW of offshore wind by 2030, enough to power every home and support up to 60,000 jobs. The Government is aiming to attract more than £20bn in private investment and deliver carbon savings of around 21MtCO2e between 2023 and 2032.
The sector is attracting investment due to a dramatic fall in costs. Last summer, The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) slashed its forecasts for offshore wind energy costs through to 2030 by more than half.
According to the Department’s latest electricity generation cost report, offshore wind projects which come online between now and 2030 will produce power at an average cost of £47 per megawatt-hour over the course of their lifetime. BEIS’s previous forecast had placed the figure at £103 per megawatt-hour.
From both being forecast at £64/MWh in 2016, the equivalent figures for onshore wind and large-scale solar have also fallen, to £45/MWh and £39/MWh respectively.
In comparison, BEIS is forecasting that the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for new gas will reach £82 per megawatt-hour by 2030 and that the LCOE for new nuclear will reach £93 per megawatt-hour within the same timeframe.
Commenting on the new funding, Business & Energy Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “With its close proximity to some of the world’s largest offshore wind farms and strong skills base, the Humber region is vitally important for the growth of the British offshore wind industry and is at the heart of our green recovery.
“Our announcement backed by private investment will give a boost to this important industrial heartland, creating and supporting thousands of good quality jobs across the region while ensuring it is on the frontline of developing the next generation of offshore wind turbines.”