UK's offshore wind sector spurred by £100m initiative
A 10-year, £100m industry-funded programme has been launched today (24 June) to spur the growth of the UK's offshore wind sector and benefit UK businesses.
The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) has launched the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) to support more than 650 businesses boost the value and growth of the offshore sector.
The OWGP acts as part of the recent Sector Deal, penned between industry and the Government, which will see at least 30GW of offshore wind installed in the UK by 2030 – generating a third of the UK’s electricity as result and increasing UK business contributions to the nation’s offshore content from 48% to 60%.
Delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, the programme will help develop the UK offshore supply chain, enhance corporate ambitions for products and services, enable companies from other sectors to enter the market and spur the development of new innovation that can accelerate growth in the sector.
Industry Chair of the OWIC and Ørsted UK country manager for offshore, Benj Sykes, said: “The offshore wind industry is offering multi-million-pound opportunities to hundreds of innovative companies throughout the UK in the years ahead – including new entrants to the market as well as firms already working in this area.
“The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership will provide practical help for UK companies so they can compete successfully for contracts in this thriving global market. The UK’s global pre-eminence in offshore wind means we are uniquely placed to sell our innovative products and services worldwide.”
The OWGP will be governed by an independent board chaired by Martin Whitmarsh, the former McLaren Group chief executive, who previously carried out a review of the offshore wind supply chain for OWIC.
The programme aims to create opportunities for business to enter a global market expected to be worth £30bn annually by 2030; UK offshore wind exports alone could grow five-fold by the end of the next decade to £2.6bn.
The UK has maintained its top-ten position in a ranking of the world's most attractive renewable energy markets for investors, largely due to the Government's recent assertation that offshore wind power will provide a third of the nation's electricity by 2030.
The latest edition of consultancy EY’s bi-annual Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index (RECAI) found that the UK had maintained its previous (November 2018) position at eighth in the ranking.
Figures from RenewableUK shows that more than 2GW of offshore windfarms became operational in UK waters during 2018 – a record-breaking feat. Eight new offshore windfarms were officially opened during the year, bringing the annual total of new capacity to 2,121 MW– nearly double the previous annual record of 1,154 MW in 2012.