Hundreds of UK companies to benefit from new initiative to maximise offshore wind supply chain opportunities
Former McLaren Group CEO and Formula One Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh will chair industry-funded programme to develop a globally competitive UK supply chain and support over 650 companies to deliver 60% UK content in offshore wind farms.
The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) is launching a £100m, 10-year programme today to support the growth of UK businesses looking to capitalise on the huge opportunities offered by the growth in offshore wind around the world.
The new initiative, the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP), is a key part of the recent Sector Deal between industry and Government, which will see at least 30 gigawatts of offshore wind installed by 2030, generating a third of the UK’s electricity (up from 8GW now). It will also see UK content in our offshore wind farms increase from 48% currently to 60% by 2030.
The OWGP will be delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult which will provide support to supply chain companies to enable them to grow and to increase their competitiveness. Support will include a range of services such as expert advice on manufacturing and commercialisation as well as funding for innovation. This will:
- Help UK companies currently in the UK offshore wind supply chain
- Enhance the ability of UK companies to export products and services around the world.
- Enable companies from other sectors to enter the offshore wind supply chain.
- Inspire companies to develop the next generation of innovative products and services to meet specific industry requirements.
The programme is expected to support over 650 UK companies to access the domestic offshore wind market, as well as creating further opportunities to enter a global market expected to be worth £30bn per year by 2030. It is anticipated the annual value of UK offshore wind exports alone could grow five-fold by the end of the next decade to £2.6bn.
It’s being announced today that the OWGP will be governed by an independent board chaired by Martin Whitmarsh, the former McLaren Group CEO and Formula One Team Principal, who carried out a review of the UK offshore wind supply chain for the Offshore Wind Industry Council which was published in February.
Zoe Barnes, a partner at Everoze, a consultancy specialising in renewables; Stephen Burgin, who has held executive roles at ABB, Alstom and GE; and Richard Turner of business advisers Elan Solutions, a former President and CEO of JDR Cable Systems, have also been appointed to the OWGP Board.
To mark today’s launch, the OWGP is initiating its first project; an in-depth assessment of the offshore wind foundations sector. This will assess the current and projected requirements for turbine foundations in the UK and abroad, identify potential barriers to growth and make recommendations to overcome these challenges. This four-month activity is the first in a series of studies which the OWGP will undertake into various parts of the offshore wind supply chain.
The study will focus on fixed foundations (monopiles and jackets) but will also consider how this relates to future developments in floating foundations. It will identify suppliers for different foundation types, assessing what has made companies operating in the sector successful, and look at buyers’ requirements in terms of price and quality, so that other firms can enter the market. The study will recommend actions to help support the development of the UK supply chain for foundations through short and long-term initiatives.
First registrations of interest by companies seeking to benefit from the wider OWGP programme can be made this week at RenewableUK’s Global Offshore Wind conference and exhibition in London on 25th and 26th June. The Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult will be holding an event at the conference (on 25th June) to provide more information about the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, including the launch of its new website through which interested companies can register.
The OWGP will invite companies to apply for support on a regular basis. The first pilot opportunity is expected to be in September with further programmes starting in early 2020.
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”.
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