The locations of manufacturing and servicing capacity are a commercial decision for wind turbine manufacturers and wind farm developers.
However, the Government are aware of the significant industrial potential that the growing renewable energy sector holds for the UK—for example, the recent publication Low Carbon Industrial Strategy: A Vision, published in March this year, noted that we intend to ensure our skills, infrastructure, procurement, research and development, demonstration and deployment policies make the UK the best place to locate and develop a low carbon business—and make sure international business recognises this. There is significant interest in the UK as a location for renewable business including wind turbine development and manufacturing—for example, the US wind turbine manufacturer Clipper have set up in the North East of England to design, develop and manufacture next generation offshore wind turbines.
We consulted last summer on how to meet the UK share of the EU 2020 target. Our UK renewable energy strategy consultation sought views on what more we can all do to ensure that the UK maximises business benefits, including UK jobs. We will respond to the consultation responses in the Renewable Energy Strategy in the summer, detailing an action plan for promoting further renewable deployment throughout the UK. In addition, my department will be launching an Office for Renewable Energy Deployment (ORED). The ORED will have a strong role to play in tackling renewables deployment barriers related to supply chain, grid and planning, and raising public awareness.
This department has not made any estimate of the number of wind farms to be installed by 2015 or 2020. However, as of November 2008 the UK had 19,177MW of wind generation either operational or within the planning system.
For the UK to achieve our 2020 renewable energy target will require an eight-fold increase in renewable energy and we expect a significant proportion of this to come from wind, both offshore and onshore.
The Renewable Energy Strategy (RES) consultation document published last summer contained a central scenario illustrating how the 2020 RES target might be achieved. Analysis underpinning that scenario suggested that some 8GW of onshore and 6GW of offshore wind by 2015, and around 14GW of each could be expected by 2020 in order to meet the renewables target.
Updated analysis and scenarios will be published as part of the Renewable Energy Strategy, this summer.