A new report delivered by RenewableUK has revealed that a high number of UK companies are involved in the development, construction and operation of offshore wind farms in Britain.
The study shows that 48% of the expenditure in planning, building and running offshore wind projects in the UK goes to domestic companies.
This means the offshore wind industry has almost hit its long-term target to source 50% of its work in Britain, to be achieved by 2020.
The previous UK content report, published in 2015, showed that 43% of contracts surveyed had been awarded to British companies – a 5% increase.
This latest report was delivered by RenewableUK on behalf of the Offshore Wind Programme Board, a body of experts which includes The Crown Estate, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department of International Trade.
It analysed data supplied by eight major UK offshore wind farms, which reached a Final Investment Decision between 2010-2015. The findings show that UK content has grown at every stage of a wind farm’s lifecycle: development, construction and operation.
British companies did especially well in the development stage with an average of 73% of work being awarded locally, the report shows. This represents a 16% increase in the previous report’s figure. The development phase includes all the major licensing, planning and surveying work which has to take place before a wind farm can be built.
The sector is investing GBP 11.5 billion in the UK economy over the next four years, which is greater than the amount of spending in the aviation sector. It also surpasses the amount the country is spending on broadband and mobile network infrastructure.
“The offshore wind industry is growing at a rapid pace, with £11.5bn of investment in new UK offshore wind farms due to take place over the next four years,” the UK’s Minister for Energy and Industry, Richard Harrington MP, said.
“This report demonstrates the strength of this growing sector and the positive impact it is having on the UK supply chain. We will continue to support offshore wind developments through our Industrial Strategy, helping to reduce carbon emissions while growing the economy.”