UK’s offshore wind sector spurred by £100m initiative

Offshore wind turbines on the Solway coast

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.

Attractive sector

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.

Matt Mace

Comments (2)

  1. Richard Phillips says:

    Yes! Another 2GW, 2,000MW But let us not forget that in overall terms this will generate an average of some 500MW.

    In addition, it may drop as low as 100MW or lower, for several days, together with a similar drop for all other turbines, when a large high pressure dominates the British Isles, as it did a year ago.

    At that time, May 28 to June 10, for a total of 180 hours, the metered output of 70% of the fleet was below 1GW, at times touching zero.

    The non-metered output is permanently connected and termed "negative demand".

    Should we live in an area in which turbines generated reliably, at a regular 50% efficiency, the wind would blow at 20mph at least, which at the moment it does for 20 days per year. We would not like it!!!

    Richard Phillips

  2. Andy Kadir-Buxton says:

    At least another 41% cut in CO2 emissions can be realised if we convert all houses and industries to near zero-carbon emissions. This does not have to be expensive. The cheapest and simplest method would be to paint the surfaces of all rooms with Starlite, invented by Maurice Ward; this would prevent heat escaping and so minimise heating requirements. As far as I am aware, the secret formula for Starlite was passed onto his immediate family members so has not been lost by his tragic death. Starlite can also prevent heat loss with attempts to store energy with molten salt, and Economy 7 radiators. If we can store all the excess capacity of electrical generation at night then we can cut the number of power stations needed so storage of energy is important. Maurice Ward Information


    (This figure assumes that 80% of heating is by gas, and that domestic gas use is 29%, and industry heating is 22% of total energy consumption.)

    An alternative to Starlite is Firepaste, invented by Canadian Troy Hurtubise, we were looking for financial backing for lab time so that he could make a household paint out of it when he died, a great tragedy not only for friends and family, but for the environment as well. RIP. As both Maurice and Troy said that they made their inventions out of household products I am attempting to get a government lab set up to recreate their inventions.

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