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UK’s offshore wind industry has three weeks to course correct

The UK faces the prospect of falling short on offshore wind targets without immediate policy changes, including a higher budget set by the 1st August deadline for this summer’s auction, according to a new report

Energy experts have issued a stark warning that the UK has just three weeks to implement crucial revisions to its offshore wind strategy to meet ambitious targets.

According to research by energy think tank Ember, the upcoming AR6 auction scheduled for August is anticipated to fall short, delivering only half of the necessary offshore wind capacity without immediate intervention.

Ember proposes a 25% increase in the AR6 auction budget as a key measure to potentially add 1GW of capacity swiftly.

This adjustment is seen as pivotal in ensuring the UK remains on track, especially with future auctions expected to play a significant role.

The report emphasises the central role of the Contracts for Difference auction scheme in driving offshore wind projects and calls for urgent reforms ahead of the 2025 auction (AR7) to support a broader range of projects.

Ember said that failing to bridge the gap in the upcoming auction poses significant risks to the UK’s offshore wind target of achieving 50GW by 2030.

Currently, the UK boasts 14.7GW of operational offshore wind capacity, with an additional 13.3GW in various stages of construction or supported by government commitments.

Meeting the 2030 targets will require delivering an additional 20GW.

Ember analyst Frankie Mayo said: “This should be a no-brainer. A higher budget for this summer’s auction would immediately secure a real boost to the UK’s offshore industry, a straightforward win for a new government within three weeks of power.”

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