UK leads the way in offshore wind

As the EIC co-hosts the UK pavilion at WindEnergy Hamburg this month it seems appropriate to take a look at recent and upcoming developments in our offshore wind sector.

Earlier in the summer the UK government confirmed its plans to hold biennial auctions for offshore wind subsidies as part of the drive to double capacity in the sector over the next decade, giving companies greater certainty around investment decisions.

Up to £557m of funding will be available in the next contracts for difference auction with most of this expected to be allocated to offshore wind projects given their falling costs. For the first time it will also include onshore wind from remote locations like the Shetland Islands - a positive step for the industry.

The offshore wind sector is working with the UK government to develop an ambitious sector deal. The aim of the deal is to unlock the investment that will drive a step-change in increased productivity, export opportunities and the growth of a skilled and diverse workforce around the UK.
A full review of the UK supply chain has also been launched with the aim of delivering a supply chain development plan. Led by independent expert Martin Whitmarsh, former McLaren Group CEO and Formula One Team Principal, the plan aims to support SMEs to join this growing industry, making sure they understand what the industry needs and routes into the sector.

The supply chain development plan will include deliverable opportunities and suggestions on how the UK can increase productivity and value at every stage of the offshore wind supply chain. The review is expected to be completed in Q3 2018.

Worldwide, the UK is the global leader in terms of capacity either in operation, development or planning, followed by Germany and Taiwan. The US is also making promising developments.

Globally, 104GW of offshore wind capacity is either operational or in development or planning.

Amisha Patel

EIC Head of Power, Nuclear & Renewables and Public Affairs