Reports calls for offshore wind targets

Blyth Northumberland lighthouse wind turbine and met mast SeaRoc during a golden dawn (Credit: Shutterstock)

A new report commissioned by the UK Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), “The UK Offshore Wind Industry: Supply Chain Review”, written by the former McLaren Group CEO and Formula One Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh and supported by Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy UK, innogy, MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, and ScottishPower Renewables, provides an independent perspective on the sector and makes a number of key recommendations for industry and government.

The review recommends that the government announces clear targets for offshore wind and commits to an extended pipeline of bi-annual CfD auctions of more than 2 GW of capacity a year. It suggests that offshore wind developers should publish clear lifecycle plans to show supply chain companies what they need and when they will need it.

The OWIC is working with the government on a sector deal which aims to deliver at least a third of the country’s electricity from offshore wind by 2030, attracting a further GBP48 billion (USD62.18 billion) investment in UK infrastructure. The domestic and export market for offshore wind products and services provided by UK-based firms is expected to be worth nearly GBP5 billion a year by 2030.

Co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council, Benj Sykes, said, “We fully expect to have the sector deal agreed with government in the coming weeks, and look forward to responding to Martin’s recommendations later in the year as implementation of the deal gets underway.”

Supporting the development of the sector deal, Norwegian energy provider Equinor is engaging with the UK offshore wind supply chain, including business development organisation NOF Energy, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, the North East of England’s offshore wind cluster, and Energi Coast to support the development of innovative, technology-led solutions, which can shape the future of the industry post-2025.

Equinor has given potential suppliers access to its assets, specifically around projects including Scira, Dudgeon, and Dogger Bank to work on predictive maintenance through condition monitoring, predictive analytics, and early detection of failure concepts.