Britain could wire in as much as 150GW of offshore wind power – fifteen times the current fleet-size – as the “backbone” of its future energy system, but this would only be possible if electricity markets undergo a radical rethink, a new study from a key government-industry body has concluded.

The report from the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC), commissioned through a task force set up by the sector-led Offshore Wind Industry Council, found that 50-70GW of sea-based wind plant was foreseen being in operation by mid-century, thought “credible systems” of up 150GW could be modelled.