The energy policy of successive governments has centred around three objectives of security, affordability, and decarbonisation. The UK’s current energy policy framework was set out in the Energy White Paper that was published in December 2020. It sets out the plans for many energy related policies across a number of sectors. From energy in the built environment to use in many sectors, from the use in industry to the built environment and transport. It also looks at how the energy systems and market will need to adept to achieve the UK’s net zero target for 2050.
It was followed by a number of consultations and strategies that provide more details of plans for specific areas of energy related topics including the Hydrogen Strategy, the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, the Net Zero Strategy and the Heat and Building Strategy, to name but a few.
Offshore wind power
With 29% of the world’s total installed capacity, the UK is rightly known as the world leader in offshore wind power. In 2020 the total offshore wind energy capacity in UK waters is 10.9617 Gigawatts and onshore 13GW.
In December 2021, a new Contract for Difference bidding round Round 4 for Offshore wind parks is to be opened. It is expected to be for 12GW of different renewables incl. offshore wind, floating wind, onshore wind and solar PV. The fourth round aims to increase the capacity of renewable energy from the 5.8 GW achieved in the last round to up to 12 GW. A new bidding round that includes offshore wind is expected each year up till 2030. This should lead to an increase in wind power capacity of 1 to 2 GW each year. The UK aims to produce at least 30 GW of wind energy per year by 2030.
Offshore wind also provides around 15,000 high-skilled jobs. To this end, the UK is investing in developing a highly-skilled workforce, through specialist courses at the universities of Manchester, Strathclyde, Sheffield and others. There are also a number of commercial operators who prepare students for a career in the sector.
Many Dutch companies are active in this sector in the UK, in particular those excelling in geophysical surveying, wind turbine construction and foundations, maintenance, and the design and building of ships and harbours. The UK government’s ambitious wind energy goals open up many more opportunities for Dutch companies in this sector.
On 18 November 2020, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson announced his Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution in the UK. This plan covers clean energy, transport, nature and emerging technologies and aims to create and support up to 250,000 jobs in the UK.
Apart from offshore wind, hydrogen is one of the key priorities of the ten point plan, which outlines that the government will be “working with industry aiming to generate 5GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030 for industry, transport, power and homes, and aiming to develop the first town heated entirely by hydrogen by the end of the decade.”
The UK Hydrogen Strategy outlines in more detail how the UK government will work with industry to meet the targets set out in the 10- Point Plan with a particular forcus on powering homes, transport and heavy industry.
To highlight opportunities for Dutch businesses in the British hydrogen sector, the Embassy has commissioned a market study written by the Energy Systems Catapult. This study provides unique insights into the UK hydrogen landscape, commercial opportunities and key stakeholders to reach out to. For your copy of the report, please contact Chief Innovation Advisor – Marjolein Bouwers or Senior Commercial Attaché – Tessel van Essen.
How can the Embassy help you?
We regularly organise seminars and round-table discussions to further highlight Dutch knowledge and expertise for UK stakeholders. We also assist the sector wherever possible by raising topics such as the coordination of contract award procedures, harmonisation of research programmes and streamlining of technical and commercial standards as well as highlighting business opportunities.
If you would like to know more about offshore wind or the trade side of hydrogen you can contact Tessel van Essen. For the innovation side of hydrogen you can contact Chief Innovation Advisor Marjolein Bouwers.