Offshore Wind Plan sets out to secure UK’s supply chain

The 2024 Offshore Wind Industrial Growth Plan: Expanding the Horizons of the UK’s Offshore Wind Supply Chain points the way towards tripling offshore wind manufacturing capacity over the next ten years.

The plan is a collective effort from RenewableUK, the Offshore Wind Industry Council, The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland.

windmill, wind turbines, turbines

In the Foreword to the plan, offshore wind is described as one of the UK’s great success stories of the century, but one that the rest of the World has noticed and their haste to catch up is inevitably leading to supply chain issues.

The UK has nearly 100GW of offshore wind projects in the pipeline, the second most in the world and more than six times its current capacity, but there are 120 other countries committed to trebling their renewable capacity by the end of the decade.

It is this that the plan addresses, focussing on the component parts 0f an offshore wind project and assessing the UK’s ability to be self-dependent on them. Investment, they believe should be focussed on areas in which the UK can ‘win’, such as blades, towers, electrical systems and cables. In other areas, where we are some way from competing internationally (eg offshore substation installation) it would be more prudent to buy.

The Plan also suggests areas to work on, in which there is value to be had but in which we remain some way from self-sufficiency. These ‘Nurture to Make’ areas include floating turbine installation and decommissioning services.

RenewableUK’s Chief Executive Dan McGrail said: ‘Our Industrial Growth Plan is the deepest dive ever into the offshore wind supply chain, identifying the highest-value components and services which the UK should focus on to get the biggest economic bang for our buck from future wind farm development. For example, it shows that the UK will need three hundred giant turbine towers every year for offshore wind projects between now and 2030 to deliver Government targets. The plan charts a clear course for us to ensure that we seize that massive economic opportunity and maximise our opportunities to manufacture those towers here, along with more blades, cables, foundations and a whole range of other products.

‘By using this as a blueprint to work closely with all our partners in the sector, we can triple the size of that supply chain, ramp up our offshore wind capacity significantly and secure a huge increase in jobs, all within the next ten years.’

Gus Jaspert, Managing Director, Marine at The Crown Estate, said: ‘To truly make the most of the shift to renewable energy, we must also view the UK’s energy transition as an economic and jobs transition. Our offshore wind industry is already world leading but as demand for wind technology increases further, both nationally and on a global level, the UK must be on the front foot investing in and developing its supply chain to accelerate growth within the sector.

‘Establishing this supply chain will take co-ordination and collaboration across UK governments and industry, and the IGP provides the detail needed to target those areas where we can have the biggest impact. As an early action, The Crown Estate is establishing a £50 million Supply Chain Accelerator to catalyse early-stage investment, with an initial £10 million pilot fund launching this summer to support supply chain opportunities created through the Celtic Sea Leasing Round 5 and a further £40 million earmarked aligned to the IGP.’


Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Help us break the news – share your information, opinion or analysis
Back to top