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Mon, 19 October 2020

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IET comment on the Prime Minister’s offshore wind farm pledge

Institution of Engineering and Technology

2 min read Partner content

Commenting on the PM’s pledge that offshore wind farms will generate enough electricity to power every home in the UK within a decade, Caroline Holman, IET Energy Lead, said:

We welcome this announcement demonstrating a positive commitment to green recovery and to an industry where we can show global leadership.  Cost reduction in this sector is a global success story and investing further provides a genuine chance to ‘build back better’.

“The whole energy system needs to be considered. Wind output needs to be balanced, through a mix of commitments to other forms of generation, to storage, and/or other solutions.  Building a secure and reliable energy system fit for this future requires whole systems thinking and application of sound engineering principles.  We also note that there is also growing interest in alternative solutions (e.g. hydrogen production offshore) which may form part of our national energy transition.  These ideas also raise important questions about skills transfer and whether assets can be re-used.

“With ambitious targets set for creating green jobs, it is essential that the right level of investment is made in skills and training to ensure we can deliver the positive outcomes the Government is aiming for. It is of paramount importance that high-quality training and re-skilling is delivered across the industry and its supply chain.

“A strategic and co-ordinated ‘whole systems approach’ to offshore wind grids, inter-connectivity, re-skilling/skills transfer, technology mix and asset reutilisation; will be a key foundation of the Net Zero transition, and one that the IET is already engaged in.

“The electricity industry is a vital enabler of other sectors reaching their emissions reduction targets. The IET believes that a Whole System approach using systems engineering principles is essential if the green recovery and energy transition are to be realised and offshore wind has a large part to play in this process.”

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