08 February 2021

Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 signals major vote of confidence in the UK’s green economy

In a major vote of confidence in the UK’s green economy and net zero ambitions, The Crown Estate has today announced six proposed new offshore wind projects in the waters around England and Wales.

The six Round 4 projects together represent just under 8 GW of potential new offshore wind capacity with the opportunity to deliver clean electricity for more than seven million homes and create employment opportunities across the country.

The projects have been selected through a competitive seabed tender process and will now progress to environmental assessment known as a Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA).

Together, Round 4 projects could:   

  • Support continued growth and investment in the UK offshore wind sector, which could employ as many as 60,000 people by 2030, up from approximately 11,000 today.[i]
  • Help the UK save approximately 12.5 million tonnes of CO2 emissions a year, equivalent to 19% of the nation’s annual household emissions.[ii]  
  • With 39 GW of offshore wind already in operation, construction and planning, projects emerging from Round 4 could deliver a 21% increase in the pipeline, a major contribution to supporting the Government’s target of delivering 40GW by 2030, and beyond.[iii] 

Dan Labbad, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate, said: “Round 4 offers a major boost for the UK’s green economy and subject to environmental assessments, these projects have the potential to create new jobs and deliver green and affordable energy to millions more homes. 

“With a net zero goal, some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, and clear commitment from Government and industry to continue investing in the low carbon economy, the UK stands ready to play its part in addressing the global climate crisis.

“The task now is to work together across the sector, to coordinate the development we need offshore, in a way which is sensitive to the importance of biodiversity in our precious marine environment and brings new employment opportunities and growth to a range of communities across country.”

Energy Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The UK is a world leader in offshore wind energy, with the Prime Minister’s Ten Point Plan laying out a bold ambition to produce enough offshore wind to power every home in the UK.  

“Energy delivered by the new offshore wind projects in The Crown Estate’s latest leasing round will help power seven million homes, driving forward our commitments to eliminate the UK’s contribution to carbon emissions by 2050, creating thousands of new jobs and ensuring Britain builds back greener.”

Lesley Griffiths, Welsh Government Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs, said: “I am delighted to see an offshore wind project in the north Wales region progress to the next stage of The Crown Estate’s current offshore wind leasing auction round. I would like to thank all those involved for their efforts in reaching this stage of the process.

“I would also like to congratulate the successful bidder. We at Welsh Government, with our partners in the region, look forward to working alongside them. It is vital that Wales maximises from the benefits of hosting offshore wind projects as well as the infrastructure they require onshore.

“As noted by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) in December last year, Wales is on a credible pathway towards becoming a net-zero nation by 2050.”

Through an open market process, successful bidders have committed an initial investment of £879m in option fee deposits. This signals a significant vote of confidence in the UK’s world leading offshore wind sector and Government’s commitment to grow the low carbon economy. Following the conclusion of the Round 4 process through the HRA, option fees will contribute to The Crown Estate’s annual profits, 100% of which are paid to the Treasury for the benefit of the nation.

The projects and bidders that will progress to the next stage of Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 are:

Project identifier

Bidding Area

Region/ location

Successful bidder

Proposed project capacity (MW)

Number of homes proposed size could power

(approx.)

 

CO2 emissions reduction potential p.a. (tonnes)

 

Option fee deposit paid (exc. VAT)

1

Bidding Area 1

(Dogger Bank)

Off the Yorkshire Coast, North East of Scarborough

RWE Renewables

1500

1,394,000

2,344,176

£114,304,500

2

Bidding Area 1

(Dogger Bank)

Off the Yorkshire Coast, North East of Scarborough

RWE Renewables

1500

1,394,000

2,344,176

£133,350,000

3

Bidding Area 2

(Southern North Sea region, the eastern parts of the Wash and the East Anglia region)

 

Off the Lincolnshire Coast, East of the Humber Estuary

Green Investment Group - Total

1500

1,394,000

2,344,176

£124,573,500

4

Bidding Area 4

(North Wales region, the Irish Sea region, and the northern part of the Anglesey region)

 

Off the Northern Welsh Coast, North East of Anglesey

Consortium of EnBW and BP

1500

1,394,000

2,344,176

£231,000,000

5

Bidding Area 4

(North Wales region, the Irish Sea region, and the northern part of the Anglesey region)

 

Off the Lancashire Coast, West of Blackpool and South West of Morecambe Bay

Offshore Wind Limited, a Joint Venture between Cobra Instalaciones y Servicios, S.A. and Flotation Energy plc

 

480

446,000

750,136

£44,751,840

6

Bidding Area 4

(North Wales region, the Irish Sea region, and the northern part of the Anglesey region)

 

Off the coast of Barrow-In-Furness, West of Morecambe Bay

Consortium of EnBW and BP

1500

1,394,000

2,344,176

£231,000,000


Round 4 projects will now progress to the next stage of the process known as a Plan-Level HRA. This process assesses the potential impacts of Round 4 on the UK national network of protected areas covering its most valuable species and habitats. It is a legal requirement, which must be completed before The Crown Estate can award seabed rights and is an important step in helping to preserve the UK’s precious marine environment.

The HRA process is expected to conclude in Spring 2022. Subject to the outcome, developers would then be granted an Agreement for Lease by The Crown Estate and be able to progress projects through the planning process, in which stakeholders and local communities will have an opportunity to participate. The projects could begin to generate clean electricity by the end of the decade.

For more information please visit the Offshore Wind Leasing Round 4 page of The Crown Estate website: https://www.thecrownestate.co.uk/en-gb/what-we-do/on-the-seabed/offshore-wind-leasing-round-4/ 

[i] August 2020: Renewable UK estimated that 11,000 people are now employed by offshore wind developers and Tier 1 supply chain companies. https://committees.parliament.uk/writtenevidence/10632/html/

December 2020: Government Energy White Paper: Advancing offshore wind could deliver support for up to 60,000 direct and indirect jobs in 2030.
 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/945899/201216_BEIS_EWP_Command_Paper_Accessible.pdf

[ii] Based on:

The Crown Estate estimation that, once operational, these projects could reduce C02 emissions by 12.5million tonnes a year

Data from National Statistics (March 2020) which states that in 2019, the residential sector emitted 65.2 millions tonnes of carbon dioxide. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/875485/2019_UK_greenhouse_gas_emissions_provisional_figures_statistical_release.pdf

[iii] Based on current UK pipeline of 39GW (10 GW of capacity already in operation, 10GW of projects committed and 19GW in development or pre-planning).

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