OWIC Pinpoints Prime Supply Chain Growth Areas in UK

Turbine blades, towers, monopile foundations, and power cables are the prime areas in which the UK can secure new investment to boost its domestic manufacturing capabilities, the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) said.

These are the priority areas in which OWIC is working with the UK government to support the development of the rapidly growing domestic supply chain and help deliver the UK’s target of 40 GW of offshore wind by 2030.

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Developers of planned projects are engaging with manufacturers to provide greater visibility of their demands and timelines, which will encourage companies to invest in new facilities, OWIC said.

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, a GBP 100 million fund set up by the industry to accelerate supply chain development, is leading on work to identify high-value components for blades, generators, nacelles, towers, and electrical systems which could be sourced in the UK.

These make up the lion’s share of capital expenditure on projects and more of them could be made in the UK. The OWGP will produce a report with recommendations to the industry and the government later this year.

“Government and industry share the ambition to unlock investment in new facilities and manufacturing that will deliver a vibrant, globally competitive supply chain in the UK,” the Co-Chair of OWIC and Vattenfall’s UK Country Manager Danielle Lane said.

“Success will depend on making it clear to UK supply chain companies what we want and when we need it, as well as investing in ports and infrastructure so we can handle the mega-turbines of the future. Underpinning all this, we have to secure large volumes of new capacity in the next CfD auction to keep us on track towards our 2030 target.”

OWIC has identified significant opportunities for the supply chain in innovation to support the next generation of offshore wind projects. Through initiatives led by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the OWGP, the industry is supporting the development of a supply chain for floating offshore wind, innovation in operations and maintenance, and the application of new technologies such as robotics. The Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence is assessing the UK’s domestic capabilities and needs, as well as the opportunity to supply growing export markets.

“We’re determined to maximise the number of high-value UK jobs we create in offshore wind as the leading technology in the Prime Minister’s Green Industrial Revolution. The UK has a unique opportunity to attract billions in new investment and to stay ahead of the curve by pioneering innovative new technologies,” RenewableUK Chief Executive Hugh McNeal said.

“There are fantastic companies in our domestic supply chain, from large-scale manufacturers to smaller fabricators, construction specialists, AI developers, robotics companies and O&M firms. We can build on this to ensure that the UK has an industrial base which matches our world-leading offshore wind ambitions.”