The UK government has given conditional backing to funding additional offshore wind capacity on top of the 10GW planned for the 2020s as part of its Clean Growth Strategy.

BEIS said it would work with the offshore wind industry to develop an “ambitious” sector deal and consider the “opportunity for additional deployment if this is cost effective and deliverable.”

The UK government will work with the Crown Estate and the Crown Estate Scotland to understand the potential for deployment of offshore wind in the late 2020s and beyond, it added.

As revealed exclusively last month in subscription-only newsletter reNEWS, the Offshore Wind Industry Council’s under-development sector deal is targeting 30GW of installed capacity by 2030 and 50GW by 2050.

The long-awaited strategy set out a plethora of measures to meet the UK’s fourth and fifth carbon budgets covering the periods 2023-2027 and 2028-2032.

Onshore wind in the remote islands will be eligible for the next so-called Pot 2 Contracts for Difference auction in spring 2019, subject to obtaining EU state aid approval.

The strategy does not rule out a return to Pot 1 CfD auctions for onshore wind but the government wants to see “more people investing in solar without government support”.

BEIS is considering options for small scale low carbon generation beyond 2019 and will provide an update later this year.

The department said wave, tidal stream and tidal range could also have a role in the long-term decarbonisation of the UK but they will need to demonstrate how they can compete with other forms of generation.

Further details on carbon prices for the 2020s will be set out in the autumn 2017 Budget due next month while a replacement for the existing Levy Control Framework beyond 2020/21 will be set out later this year.

Bruce Davis, co-founder and managing director of peer-to-peer ethical finance platform Abundance Investment and a member of the government’s new Green Finance Task Force, welcomed the launch of the strategy.

He said: “It shows the importance of investment in the green economy for present and future generations. 

“We look forward to working with the government to ensure we have the finance to deliver this strategy in a way that benefits both the whole UK economy and the whole population through their ISA and pension investments.”

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said: “The strategy is on the right track but we need a more ambitious destination. 

“Our small country could be a big power on low carbon solutions if we keep up the momentum, especially on energy efficiency and electric vehicles.

“If Claire Perry and her team now puts real flesh on the bones in their strategy, we could clean up our transport, heat and power sectors.” 

Image: Big Ben (FreeImages)