Boris Johnson was in ebullient mood last October when he promised the Conservative Party conference that within 10 years offshore wind farms would generate enough electricity to power every UK home. “Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands,” he said, rehashing a Tory pledge to increase offshore wind capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2030 and promising the creation of 2,000 construction jobs, the support of 60,000 more, and that Britain would become “the world leader in clean wind energy”. With current offshore wind capacity amounting to about 10 gigawatts, a subsequent study by Oxford-based consultants Aurora Energy Research reckons this pledge would cost £50 billion and involve a new offshore wind turbine being installed every day for the next decade. So, was this a far-sighted future or just plain-old Boris bluster? I thought about this without conclusion as I banged along in a chilly one-metre North Sea swell on the Windcat crew transfer vessel steaming south-east from Hartlepool’s historic docks to EDF’s Teesside offshore wind farm.
Telegraph 31st Jan 2021 read more »