1GW of offshore floating wind in the Celtic Sea could unlock thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of pounds in investment, according to a new document from Wales’ largest renewable energy operator RWE.
The company has said that the first gigawatt of floating wind in the Celtic sea could deliver around 3,000 jobs and £682m through supply chain opportunities for Wales and the south west of England by 2030.
RWE will be bidding for the Crown Estate Celtic Sea seabed leasing round this year where up to 4GW of floating wind will be awarded. The operator said it aims to secure at least 1GW of installed capacity in the region.
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Its recently-published document, ‘RWE’s Vision for the Celtic Sea’, the firm sees floating wind technology as the “next frontier” in the development of the offshore wind sector which could potentially unlock a multi-billion pound opportunity for the broader Celtic Sea region and the UK.
In addition, the technology could unlock a resurgence in Welsh industry and its decarbonisation as well as spur on academic innovation and growth of a new high-skilled workforce.
However, in order to deliver these ambitious plans, RWE says investment and a broad dynamic collaboration between business, industry, academia and governments in Wales and Westminster is needed.
RWE has already entered into a partnership with Tata Steel to explore the production of steel components that could be used in high-tech floating wind foundations and structures for projects in the Celtic Sea.
The company has also signed agreements with ABP Port Talbot, the Port of Milford Haven and Marine Power Systems in Swansea to explore opportunities for building the supply chain for floating wind.
Tom Glover, UK country chair, RWE, said: “The Celtic Sea region is pivotal to RWE’s ‘Growing Green’ strategy in the UK, where we expect to invest £15 billion in clean energy infrastructure by 2030. Putting this plan to work in the region will help facilitate and forge the energy, industrial, societal and economic transformation urgently needed to meet the UK’s net zero ambitions.”
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