The UK has an ambitious target of reaching 50 GW of offshore wind (OSW) capacity by 2030, which is close to four times the current capacity of 13.7 GW. In order to achieve this, the government appointed Tim Pick as the UK’s first Offshore Wind Champion in May 2022 to advise the government and industry on the development of the UK’s OSW sector. In April 2023, the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) released the ‘Independent report of the Offshore Wind Champion – Seizing our Opportunities’.

This report summarises his findings, makes recommendations and identifies opportunities for government and industry to accelerate the deployment of offshore wind projects in the UK. The recommendations include reducing the time taken to plan and consent offshore wind farms, address major delays for grid connections and reform the remit of the UK’s Office of Gas and Energy Markets (Ofgem) to prioritise clean energy projects.

The report also suggests setting deployment targets for 2035, 2040 and 2050 to provide a clear long term policy framework for seabed leasing and consenting decisions as well as investor confidence for developers, ports and the supply chain. It further suggests that the government should expand the role of the Future Systems Operator (FSO) to include responsibility for developing national level strategic delivery frameworks for the energy system as a whole in collaboration with other relevant stakeholders .

The Offshore Wind Champion’s Report is available here.