Government and business publish a long-term strategy that will strengthen the UK’s position in the offshore wind industry. The multi-million pound investment has the potential to unlock £7 billion in the economy by 2020.
The UK currently has more offshore wind power than the rest of the world combined. The offshore wind industrial strategy aims to grow UK supply chain manufacturing so that more of the work and jobs can be done here.
Investments by the government will include £20 million from the Regional Growth Fund to improve the UK wind industry’s supply chain, and £46 million to join up innovation between industry, government and academia and help companies to bring new products to market.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Energy Secretary Ed Davey launched the strategy today during a visit to officially open the Lincs wind farm off the coast of Lincolnshire, developed by Centrica with their project partners DONG Energy and Siemens.
Key announcements include:
- £20 million from the Regional Growth Fund for GROW: Offshore Wind, a new Manufacturing Advisory Service programme to support the UK supply chain to become more competitive by offering tailored support from specialists
- £46 million funding over five years for the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Centre to join up innovation between industry, government and academia and help companies to bring new products to market
- a new Offshore Wind Investment Organisation, established by UKTI, to attract inward investment to the UK
- industry-led initiatives to share information with the supply chain about their procurement timelines and contracting decision points
- a proposal that would require developers of offshore wind farms above a certain size to produce a supply chain plan before they can apply for a Contract for Difference – long-term contracts to provide stable revenues for investors in low carbon energy projects – setting out how the project and procurement approaches will encourage a wider, more diverse supply chain and support innovation and skills
- expansion of the scope of the DECC offshore wind manufacturing funding scheme to support port and coastal infrastructure development in assisted areas of England. Any grants offered will be conditional on sites securing manufacturing investment
- the Green Investment Bank has an ambition to invest a significant proportion of its £3.8 billion capital in offshore wind, co-investing in projects with commercial parties
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said:
"The race is now on to lead the world in clean, green energy. As an island nation, and with our weather, the UK is ideally placed to make the most of offshore wind energy - you could say it was a technology designed for us."