PM’s green energy industrial revolution

During the Covid-19 nationwide lockdown, wind farms accounted for a larger percentage of the UK’s overall power generation than before.

And following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party address today, that seems to be an irreversible trend.

The PM pledged on Wednesday to spend £160m to upgrade ports and factories for building turbines to help the country “build back greener”, with the aim of creating 2,000 construction jobs and support 60,000 more.

He vowed that the UK would become “the world leader in clean wind energy” and that every home would be powered by wind alone within the next decade.

Mr Johnson said the government was raising its target for offshore wind power capacity by 2030 from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts.

By placing his faith in wind energy and reducing coal-fired power, greenhouse gas emissions would be dramatically slashed.

“Far out in the deepest waters we will harvest the gusts, and by upgrading infrastructure in places like Teesside and Humber and Scotland and Wales, we will increase an offshore wind capacity that is already the biggest in the world,” he proclaimed.

Coronavirus takes wind out of renewables market

Forecasted output in the wind power market in 2020 is set to be downgraded due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The amount of energy produced by turbines was on an upward trajectory and forecast to grow by 20 per cent this year, however, the economic slowdown has led to a reduction in the number of turbine installations.

GlobalData noted that total annual installations for wind power reached 2.7GW in 2019 but estimates for 2020 were now around the 980MW mark.

“The average energy demand in the UK declined by 13% after the UK Government announced the lockdown. The output of existing wind farms could significantly decrease due to the supply chain, travel bans and deferred maintenance. In addition, a shortage of engineering staff due to the lockdown could delay critical operational and maintenance (O&M) work at project sites,” GlobalData’s senior power analyst Somik Das said.

“Under normal circumstances, fixing a broken rotor or gearbox typically takes no longer than a month but now it could see up to six months of downtime on a particular turbine, which is quite significant for the wind industry as a whole. Thus, the performance of the wind sector in the second half of the year will be of critical importance for the UK.”

The ramifications of the coronavirus has affected other areas of the green energy sector with solar capacity predicted to fall 16 per cent compared to previous estimates.

Meanwhile, the planned rollout of EV charger installations has been put on hold, contributing to a slowdown in the sales of EVs.