UK ports are well placed to support the offshore wind industry, but a versatile and flexible planning system is needed to help ports prepare for the new opportunities presented in the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, the British Ports Association’s Chief Executive Richard Ballantyne said.
''This will be vital to ensure that ports remain agile and responsive to the new opportunities to provide important landside hubs for offshore developments,'' Ballantyne said.
The Sector Deal is part of the government’s Industrial Strategy and contains plans for 30GW of operating offshore wind capacity by 2030, enough to supply one third of UK electricity.
The deal will see a huge growth in offshore developments, much of which will be facilitated by UK ports, BPA said. This could account for over GBP 40bn of infrastructure spending in the next decade, creating jobs for coastal regions all across the UK.
''In particular we are pleased to see the long term commitment to increase UK content to 60%. This target will require an increased domestic role for developers and projects meaning that British ports will play a significant role in new projects,'' Ballantyne said.