By Anders Lorenzen
The UK is in the middle of a lengthy and drawn-out negotiation with the EU. This negotiation will determine the UKs relationship with the block as the country prepares to leave at the end of March. During the past three years, this has been the main pre-occupation of the country, with little focus on other matters such as how the country will respond to the climate crisis or what its energy future will look like.
But last week the UK government announced a wind-power deal struck with the wind energy sector. This deal would allow the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to intensify its dealings with the offshore wind industry. By 2030 they plan to treble the number of skilled jobs in the offshore wind sector to 27,000.
The UK government, led by Prime Minister Theresa May, is keen to tackle low productivity and bolster business ahead of Brexit. The deal will be part of its industrial strategy and will encourage intervention in key sectors.
Name-checking the deal at a press conference in the northern English town of Grimsby, she focused on the post-Brexit business environment. She was keen to point out that the UK is, in fact, the present leader internationally of offshore wind power.
Fittingly, as last Friday was International Women’s Day, the deal will also factor in gender equality. It seeks to boost the number of women who work in the industry up to at least 33 per cent in the workforce by 2030, up from the current number of 16 per cent.
In the deal, the UK government pledges that by 2030, the country should produce 30% of its electricity from offshore wind power, up from 7.2% today. This will be equal to 30 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity.
Britain is seen as the world leader in offshore wind, hosting 40% of all installed capacity globally.