Autumn 2012 deadline for new Offshore Wind Programme Board

An Offshore Wind Programme Board (OWPB) consisting of a small number of senior representatives of industry, Government and Statutory Nature Conservation Advisors is to be established by autumn this year to help drive down production costs for the sector.

The OWPB commitment, contained in the newly published Offshore Wind Cost Reduction Task Force Report, is designed to ensure that no time is lost in hitting the 30% cost reduction target announced yesterday for Offshore Wind. 

“There is much that is good happening across industry, Government and stakeholders to address and resolve issues that affect the delivery of offshore wind,” it is stated in the Task Force Report document. “However, much is not transparent or coordinated within the industry and sometimes even within different departments of the public sector. 

“Issues are sometimes only addressed late in the day when it becomes critical to do so. This is not conducive to attracting new entrants, or to improving investor confidence. Further, all too often, reports run the risk of sitting on a shelf with no ownership of the action points.” 

The new Board’s remit will be to regard the UK’s offshore wind sector as one business, proactively consider its risks, whether created by regulation or industry practices, and assign the appropriate participants to work on solutions to the issues raised. It would also review progress on the actions recommended and, while its discussions would be private, they would be expected to take place within a ‘spirit of openness and collaboration’. All conclusions, of course, would be entirely open to public view. 

The Board will report, initially at least, to the Offshore Wind Developers’ Forum, which is co-chaired by the Energy Minister. 

Once working successfully, the new Board would be expected to become a ‘catalyst to improve sector confidence’.

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