The UK is facing an energy "trilemma" of needing to build new generation to keep the lights on whilst reducing carbon emissions and doing it as cheaply as possible to minimise the impact on consumers.
Offshore wind today is the renewable energy form with the highest yield, and offshore wind farms today can be about the size of a traditional power plant. Earlier this year, we opened the London Array (in which we have a 50 percent share), one of the world's largest offshore wind farms at 630 megawatts which we operate.
At DONG Energy, we have a strong pipeline of offshore wind projects in the UK in which we want to invest in the coming years. . However, a crucial part of this investment plan will be to bring down the cost of offshore wind by 40% by 2020. That cost reduction is a central part of our business model and strategy. Bringing down the cost of offshore wind will further minimize the cost for consumers and ensure our business model works.
By the time the new nuclear power plant at Hinckley C comes online in 2023, DONG Energy could potentially have over 6 gigawatts of offshore wind in operation with our partners, in the UK alone. That's the equivalent of two nuclear power stations. There are no fuel costs for offshore wind - the wind is a free commodity and there is no danger of it running out. It gives us security and energy independence, shielding us from price shocks on a global market.
The energy reforms undertaken by the government are necessary to ensure that the UK will have enough power capacity to power our homes in the future. Part of the energy reforms require a continued build-out of offshore wind, and continued economic support for offshore wind. However, the price that we get will diminish year on year as technology develops.
Some think this price is not high enough. We think it's a challenge but, combining our long-term expertise in offshore wind, and our ambitious targets for cost reduction, we have decided to move on with our investments, and continue to provide the much needed CO2-free wind turbines to power UK households.
As companies like DONG Energy invest, the Government is also working to ensure British companies reap the benefits of low carbon technology development in the UK. The number of employees in offshore wind has doubled since 2010 and could rise to nearly 45,000 workers by 2023. We are also trying to identify how UK suppliers can be encouraged to participate in tenders and to understand the barriers that need to be removed to bring the opportunities to these suppliers.
The growth of renewables should not be seen as a burden but an opportunity - constructing offshore wind farms in the UK can create jobs and opportunities for UK businesses as well as offer long term energy security. If the Government continues to give us that certainty to invest we can also ensure we bring down the costs rapidly.