Offshore Wind a Global, Multi-Billion Pound Chance for UK Companies (Prospectus)

Image source: Ørsted

The UK and export market for offshore wind products and services provided by UK-based firms is expected to be worth GBP 4.9 billion a year by 2030, according to a new prospectus by the former McLaren Group CEO and Formula One Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh.

The UK is the global leader in offshore wind, and the international market is expected to be worth GBP 30 billion a year by 2030. China, the USA, Germany and India are among the countries seeking to benefit from the UK expertise, according to the Offshore Wind Industry Prospectus.

In the document, Martin Whitmarsh notes that “These opportunities won’t only be for “traditional” offshore wind suppliers involved with components like turbines, foundations, boats and cables, but also in robotics, drones, sensors and big data to name just a few…It is a sector full of opportunity and now is the time to get involved”.

The document was commissioned by the Offshore Wind Industry Council. OWIC is working with Government on a Sector Deal which aims to deliver at least a third of the UK’s electricity from offshore wind by 2030, by which time the offshore wind industry will employ 27,000 people.

The prospectus suggests that, with an ambitious Sector Deal between industry and government, around 60% of the content of UK offshore wind farms could be provided by UK companies by 2030; up from 48% today.

Clark MacFarlane, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy UK Managing Director and OWIC lead for the Whitmarsh Review said: “As this visionary prospectus shows, there are enormous opportunities for UK businesses in this multi-billion pound sector, so companies new to the industry should be excited by the potential to be involved. Hundreds of supply chain companies up and down the country are already winning contracts to work on projects here and abroad, and with the domestic and international markets set to expand, UK businesses are in a great position to win an even greater share of the global and domestic markets.”

The prospectus predicts that further innovation in turbine blade technology and materials, higher voltage cables and floating turbines will drive growth. It notes that as well as generating vast amounts of clean electricity, offshore wind farms can also help to finely balance the supply of power to the grid, providing flexibility to modern energy systems. It also suggests building on knowledge from the aerospace, automotive and space industries to foster more innovation.

The document was prepared by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the Whitmarsh Supply Chain Review Team on behalf of OWIC.

The team will be hosting a series of roadshows around the UK later this year for companies wanting to learn more about opportunities in the offshore wind supply chain.

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