UK Establishes Floating Wind Task Force

RenewableUK has announced that the UK is launching the Floating Offshore Wind Task Force with the aim to ensure that the country stays at the forefront of floating wind, creating thousands of new jobs and attracting billions in private investment, according to the trade group.

RenewableUK and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have worked with the UK, Scottish, and Welsh Governments to set up the Task Force that will include companies who are operating and developing floating wind projects around the UK, senior representatives from the UK and devolved Governments, and organisations such as The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland.

According to RenewableUK, the initial assignment of the Task Force will be to define the opportunities in the floating offshore wind sector and to produce a comprehensive report on how to take advantage of it, which will be carried out in two stages.

Scheduled for completion in the autumn, the first stage will analyse how fast new capacity can be built in UK waters and evaluate the potential investment needed in UK ports and infrastructure to meet this demand.

This will be followed by a more detailed series of recommendations next spring.

“The Task Force will lay the groundwork for the UK to become a floating wind superpower in the decades ahead. It will provide clarity on the strategic investments the UK needs to scale up and deliver a whole new industry, creating thousands of new jobs and revitalising ports and coastal communities around the country“, said Dan McGrail, CEO of RenewableUK.

Last month, the UK Government opened the GBP 160 million Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing Investment Scheme (FLOWMIS) for expressions of interest to boost floating offshore wind capability around the UK at sites in Scotland, Wales, and elsewhere.

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The emerging UK floating offshore wind sector already has two operational projects generating power off the coast of Scotland at Hywind Scotland and Kincardine.

The UK Government announced in the British Energy Security Strategy its ambition to deliver up to 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030, including up to 5 GW of floating wind, produced by turbines on floating platforms out in deeper seawaters, many off the coast of Scotland and Wales.

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This expansion to 50 GW is expected to further attract vital investment to UK coastal communities, adding to the 60,000 direct and indirect jobs the government estimates could already be supported by the offshore wind sector by 2030, and levelling up Scotland, Wales, and the wider country.

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Photo: Hywind Scotland; Photo: Øyvind Gravås / Woldcam - Equinor ASA