UK industrial strategy for the offshore wind sector set to boost investment by billions

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The energy and climate change department (DECC) has published the latest of several industrial sector strategy documents, this time focusing on the offshore wind sector.  The government thinks the sector has the potential to contribute £7 billion to the economy by 2020 and create up to 30,000 jobs in the UK.

Two key investments outlined in the strategy will be:

  1. £20 million from the Regional Growth Fund, to help support improvements the UK supply chain to the wind industry.  This is to be delivered through the Manufacturing Advisory Service’s “GROW: Offshore Wind” supply chain programme; and
  2. £46 million through the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Centre to help encourage new products into the market through closer collaboration and innovation between industry, government and the academic sector.

Other initiatives included in the strategy are:

  • UK Trade & Investment to establish a new organisation (Offshore Wind Investment Organisation) to encourage investment in the UK’s offshore wind sector;
  • a proposal for wind farm developments above a certain size to provide a supply chain plan detailing the projects procurement will support innovation, skills development and a help broaden and diversify the supply chain, prior to application for contract for difference support;
  • expanding the DECC offshore wind manufacturing funding scheme to support port and infrastructure development (with conditions around securing investment for manufacturing) in assisted areas of England; and
  • potentially significant co-investment in offshore wind projects by the Green Investment Bank.

The UK has more offshore wind power than the rest of the world combined.

This strategy aims to develop a strong commitment by the industry to develop a UK supply chain.  This can then enable tax payers’ money to be spent on UK businesses rather than being invested in the established infrastructure on the European continent.

For more information, help or advice please contact our Energy Team on 0191 211 7777 or email [email protected].