I am delighted that the UK will become a world leader in low-cost green energy with £160 million investment in offshore wind. This investment will cement the UK as a leader in wind energy, create 60,000 new jobs, boost exports and reduce our carbon emissions so we can reach net zero.
In addition, the Prime Minister announced a boost to the UK's previous target to deliver up to 40GW of offshore wind, to delivering 50GW by 2030. This ambition, set forth in the new Energy Security Strategy, will provide more than enough energy to power every home in the UK, of which up to 5GW is anticipated to come from floating offshore wind in deeper seas. This brand new technology allows wind farms to be built further out to sea in deeper waters, boosting capacity even further. This will provide massive opportunities for Scotland, the Celtic and Irish seas, and is backed by £160 million in ports and supply chains.
I understand that efforts to accelerate the production of offshore wind will be underpinned by new planning reforms to cut the approval times for new offshore wind farms from four years to one year and an overall streamlining which will radically reduce the time it takes for new projects to reach construction stages. I particularly welcome that new offshore wind projects are expected to increase the number of clean jobs in the UK by supporting 90,000 jobs by 2028.
Work is already underway with £95 million investment for 2 new offshore wind ports to be constructed in the Humber region and Teesside, creating 6,000 new jobs. Once complete, the 2 ports will have the capacity to support the development of up to 9GW of energy offshore wind projects each year – enough electricity to power around 8 million homes. Through the 2 new ports, businesses, including smaller suppliers, across the UK will be well-placed to win contracts and attract further investment from energy companies around the world, increasing their competitive standing on the global stage.
The Global Investment Summit in October 2021 showcased the UK to high profile global investors, announcing deals worth £9.7 billion, including a £6 billion investment in the East Anglia Hub offshore wind farms, creating 7,000 jobs; £1 billion investment into cutting-edge decarbonisation technology for waste, creating 1,180 jobs; and £500 million investment to produce cardboard from paper waste in Shotton, North Wales, creating around 300 new jobs. I am encouraged that this will bring new opportunities across the country and level up the UK.
I am committed to ensuring that we support clean energy and I know that the Government’s investment in renewable technologies has led to dramatic falls in some of their costs. The Contracts for Difference (CfD) scheme is the Government’s primary method of encouraging investment in low-carbon electricity. The previous round of the CfD scheme delivered record-low prices and secured enough clean energy to power over 7 million homes. The scheme’s competitive design protects consumers and, thanks to the investment of successive governments, the price of offshore wind has been reduced by around 65 per cent.
I welcome the latest round of CfD which opens with £285 million a year of funding. This round aims to secure more capacity than 3 previous rounds combined with additional offshore wind capacity that could generate electricity equivalent to powering around 8 million homes. Offshore wind will be supported by £200 million funding a year, with £24 million initially allocated for floating offshore wind and £20 million on tidal stream projects – with solar and onshore wind included for first time since 2015.
I am encouraged that £24 million of the funding is ringfenced for floating offshore projects for the first time, which shows commitment to the development of this high-potential, innovative technology.
Combined with planned stringent requirements on supporting UK manufacturers in Government-backed renewables projects, I am pleased that these measures will help the industry to reach its target of 60 per cent of offshore wind farm content coming from the UK.
Finally, I welcome the announcement that over 1,340 jobs have been created and protected across the Humber region thanks to £266 million of UK Government and private sector investment. This investment will be used to develop the next generation wind turbines, as the UK works to onshore more manufacturers and level up the country. I am glad that this shows the Government's commitment to growing and nurturing a strong, world-class offshore wind manufacturing base in the UK, while attracting vital investment and ramping up export opportunities.