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Reported by RenewableUK on 6 December 2018

Offshore wind industry marks first anniversary of Industrial Strategy

The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) is marking the first anniversary of the publication of the Government’s landmark Industrial Strategy by highlighting its commitment to bring billions of pounds of investment to the UK and to create tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs.

(Courtesy of RenewableUK)

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is marking the anniversary by holding a day of engagement today, including a speech by the Secretary of State Greg Clark in Bristol, in which he said: “On clean growth, we’re the world leader in installing offshore wind, driving down the cost by half in the last two years alone, helping to make sure that now the choice of green energy is very often the cheapest form of energy”.  

The OWIC is working closely with Government on a Sector Deal which aims to build on the UK’s global leadership in offshore wind. In March this year the OWIC launched its 2030 vision showing how the offshore wind sector already delivers, and has the potential to deliver more, in each of the five foundations outlined in the Industrial Strategy; Ideas, People, Infrastructure, Business Environment and Places. Last month the Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry announced that she expected the deal would be concluded by Christmas.

Offshore wind capacity has grown rapidly over the last decade, and just last week the UK broke a new record, with electricity generated by wind reaching a staggering 14.9GW. With a Sector Deal in place, the UK would have the opportunity to generate at least one-third of its electricity from offshore wind by 2030, with the industry attracting £48 billion in investment and employing 27,000 people. By this date, the domestic and export market for offshore wind products and services provided by UK-based firms is expected to be worth nearly £5bn a year.

The Co-Chair of the OWIC, Benj Sykes, who is also UK country manager for Ørsted’s offshore wind business, said:

“We’re hoping a transformative Sector Deal will be announced within the next few weeks so that we can continue to work with the Government to deliver on its Industrial Strategy. One of the four Grand Challenges highlighted in the Strategy, Clean Growth, is about reducing emissions while growing our economy. With an Offshore Wind Sector Deal in place, we can significantly increase our share of affordable renewable generation, cutting our carbon emissions while bringing billions of pounds more in investment to the UK and creating thousands more highly-skilled jobs up and down the country.

“We are also focusing on further developing our innovative supply chain so it too can reap the benefits. Rapid growth of the global market means that the time is right for UK businesses to take advantage of our leading position and seize opportunities to export”.

Opportunities for more companies to play a bigger role in the offshore wind supply chain have been highlighted in a series of roadshows led by the former McLaren Group CEO and Formula One Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh, who is carrying out a supply chain review for the industry. The most recent roadshow was held yesterday (5th December) in Hull, following events in Durham, Aberdeen, Southampton, Wrexham and Norwich.

In a bid to attract new companies to the industry, the roadshows targeted both existing supply chain firms as well as companies looking to diversify into this clean-growth sector, and emerging high-tech companies wanting to know more.

The events focused on readying the UK to take advantage of the growing global market for offshore wind products and services, which could see the value of UK offshore wind exports increasing five-fold by 2030.

References

[1]

RenewableUK. Press release - Offshore wind industry marks first anniversary of Industrial Strategy. URL: http://www.renewableuk.com/news/429464/Offshore-wind-industry-marks-first-annive.... [Date Accessed: 06/12/2018].

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