A new government deal with industry could see nearly a third of British electricity generated by offshore wind farms by 2030.
If successful, officials say the plan would see more electricity being generated by renewables than fossil fuels for the first time in UK history, with 70 per cent coming from low-carbon sources.
Currently offshore wind provides just 7 per cent of British power, but this would be boosted to 30 per cent by the end of the next decade.
According to the government, its promised green power “revolution” would bring 27,000 jobs to the energy sector.
“This new sector deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector,” said energy minister Claire Perry.
The deal will increase the involvement of UK companies in offshore wind projects to 60 per cent, ensuring the £557m the government has pledged in state subsidies benefits local communities.
This will be accompanied by a £250m investment from industry, which will help ensure British companies are world-leaders in new areas such as robotics, floating wind farms and larger turbines.
Alongside the deal, the government will provide more than £4m for British businesses to help countries such as Indonesia and Pakistan move from coal power to offshore wind projects.
There will also be more efforts to reduce the cost of offshore wind projects – which have already been halved in the past two years – to help move to a subsidy-free system.
The Crown Estate will be releasing new seabed land from 2019 for future offshore wind projects.
Energy UK’s chief executive, Lawrence Slade, said the deal will “further cement the UK’s position as a world-leader in offshore wind”.
“It means the government’s latest offshore wind target of 30 gigawatts by 2030 is woefully inadequate.
“Renewable power now presents the best opportunity for cheaper, cleaner and faster decarbonisation.