The Crown Estate to consider new leasing for offshore wind projects

Wednesday, 22 November, 2017 - 16:45
The Crown Estate considers making new seabed rights available to offshore wind developers (photo: iStock)
The Crown Estate considers making new seabed rights available to offshore wind developers (photo: iStock)

The Crown Estate has announced that we will be working with the offshore wind sector and stakeholders to consider making new seabed rights available to offshore wind developers. The Crown Estate is responsible for managing the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The announcement followed the Government’s backing for offshore wind in the Clean Growth Strategy and recognized the industry’s on-going development of an ambitious Sector Deal for offshore wind. It also followed the recent ‘Contracts for Difference’ auction which demonstrated significant cost reduction.

Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure at The Crown Estate, said: “Offshore wind is a fantastic UK success story. We have some of the best resources in the world and the sector is on course to meet 10% of the UK’s electricity demand by 2020. With costs continuing to come down at a pace and Government looking at further opportunities for additional offshore wind deployment in the 2020s, it is the right time to consider what additional seabed rights may be needed to help secure the UK’s clean energy future.”

Energy Minister, Richard Harrington, said: “The offshore wind sector in the UK has shown great ambition and is bringing forward clean energy projects that could power more than 3 million homes, at half the cost achieved in previous auctions. Our Clean Growth Strategy sets out that the UK could support another 10 GW of offshore wind in the 2020s, with the opportunity for more if it’s cost effective. This announcement today is an important step towards these future projects.”

Will Apps, Head of Energy Development at The Crown Estate, added: “We will work with the sector and stakeholders over the course of 2018 to shape potential new offshore leasing activity. This will consider the scale, form and location of new rights to enable sustainable deployment to 2030 and beyond.”

In addition to awarding rights to the seabed, The Crown Estate collaborates with the offshore wind sector and stakeholders to address common challenges and share best practice, helping to attract investment and bring down costs.

More detail regarding future offshore wind leasing activity will be released in early 2018.

The Crown Estate / Volker Buddensiek

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