Big firms from oil and gas and the renewable energy sector have signed up to new task force aimed at exploiting the large amounts of offshore wind power generated in the UK.
Energy giants such as Shell, Equinor, Vattenfall and Orsted have all agreed to a new research project to “make best use” of the UK wind resource.
The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) said it will begin a major programme of work to ensure that the UK’s low-carbon energy system is generating the most amount of power from renewable sources, including offshore wind.
The new project is part of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal announced by the UK Government in March.
The task force is led by Baroness Brown of Cambridge and includes senior representatives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the Scottish Government, the Committee on Climate Change, National Grid, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the Energy Systems Catapult, Atkins, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Baroness Brown 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.”
Equinor and Vattenfall both have large offshore wind projects in the north-east of Scotland, while Orsted has a number of big UK offshore wind projects.
Shell revealed last week that it is looking to have an offshore wind project by the early 2020s.