Offshore wind top of the agenda as MPs consider technological solutions to climate change

INQUIRY LAUNCH: Technological Innovation and Climate Change 

The Environmental Audit Committee has this week launched a new inquiry considering how British innovation could hold the key to tackling climate change, with an early focus on offshore wind. 

The UK has taken a leading role in the development and deployment of some low-carbon technologies, but the Committee on Climate Change has already identified a number of technologies, such as nuclear, which have fallen short of expectations on performance or cost. 

The first session of the inquiry, Technological Innovation and Climate Change, will look at offshore wind power. The UK has the largest market in the world for offshore wind, and over the past 10 years, wind power has grown rapidly due to reductions in the costs of constructing and operating wind power facilities. Every year the UK has seen a steady increase in the amount of electricity being generated by wind power, with statistics for 2019 showing a 3% increase to 20%.  

Following the Government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal in March 2019, the Committee will consider the opportunities that will maximise the industry’s potential, and that challenges it faces in delivering greater capacity. 

The inquiry launch follows latest estimates that the UK is expected to exceed the target set out in the third Carbon Budget due to phasing out coal and moving towards renewable energy sources. However, it is expected that the fourth and fifth Carbon Budgets will be much more challenging to meet, and the need for innovation will be of greater significance. 

The first area the committee will be looking at will be offshore wind, which is already contributing significantly to UK electricity generation, and the committee looks forward to learning how we can make an even bigger success of this industry. 

Environmental Audit Committee Member, Marco Longhi MP, said:  

“It is vital we find new ways to tackle climate change to protect our environment for all the generations that will follow our own. The UK has a wealth of talent amongst our engineers and scientists who are working incredibly hard to be at the forefront of innovation for finding a pathway to a greener UK.  

I am looking forward to seeing the solutions put forward to the committee and ensuring the Government is doing all it can to bring success for them.”