For the first time in a decade, the Crown Estate has opened a leasing round for offshore wind farms in UK waters.
The business will auction seabed rights in UK sovereign waters around England and Wales to wind farm developers, with each 10-year lease licencing up to 7GW of generating capacity per site, in what is anticipated to be a hotly-contested auction.
The round expected to generate approximately £20 billion in investments, whilst amounting to a record in revenue payable to the crown, estimated to be hundreds of millions of pounds, according to The Guardian, with surplus revenues going to the UK treasury.
Whilst Great Britain currently has approximately 8.5GW of offshore wind capacity, which amounts to 8% of the UK’s electricity needs, the government has promised to support the industry’s aspiration to grow capacity to 30GW by 2030.
Trade body RenewableUK has estimated that the growing industry can generate up to £21 billion in investment at current prices, whilst supporting almost 10,000 jobs.
Hugh McNeal, chief executive of RenewableUK, told The Guardian: “These powerhouses of the future will create thousands of highly skilled jobs, continuing the rapid regeneration of our coastal communities, as well as benefiting our UK-wide supply chain.”