The UK's Offshore Wind Industry Council reports that a major programme of work has just begun to ensure that the UK’s low-carbon energy system makes the best use of the increasingly large proportion of electricity the UK is generating from renewable sources, including offshore wind.
The new research project, ‘Solving the Integration Challenge’, is a key part of the landmark Offshore Wind Sector Deal announced by government and industry in March.
The task force began work on Monday in London. It is led by Baroness Brown and includes senior representatives from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Scottish Government, the Committee on Climate Change, National Grid, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the Energy Systems Catapult, Atkins, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and companies including ITM, Good Energy, Shell, Equinor, Vattenfall and Ørsted.
This wide-ranging group of experts will examine how the UK can continue to decarbonise by building a reliable modern energy system, managing variability of demand and supply, based on renewable technologies, with offshore wind playing a leading role.
The group will publish a road map identifying pioneering techniques, such as using electricity from offshore wind to generate and store hydrogen as a power source. It will also examine how to introduce more flexibility into the energy system, for example by expanding battery storage and the use of demand side response (which enables consumers to take advantage of low electricity prices at certain times of day).
Earlier this month the Government¹s advisers, the Committee on Climate Change, published a report on cutting greenhouse gas emission to net zero by 2050 which highlighted the key role of wind energy in tackling global warming while also keeping energy bills down for consumers. The report suggested that the UK could increase its offshore wind capacity nearly tenfold by 2050, from 7.9 GW to 75 GW by 2050.