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UK racing ahead with locally sourced offshore wind industry



The UK’s offshore wind industry today came together and committed to annual reporting on UK content, during the UK’s first Offshore Wind Week. Annual reporting will allow industry to track progress towards the goal of 50% UK content for the offshore wind sector.

Alongside this commitment, a new report was released today which benchmarks progress so far. This report reveals that a growing number of UK companies are getting involved in the development, construction and operation of offshore wind farms in British waters. The study shows that 43% of the expenditure incurred in planning, building and running our offshore projects goes to UK companies. This means the British offshore wind industry is well on course to reaching the 50% goal.

The report was commissioned by Department of Energy and Climate Change, The Crown Estate and RenewableUK on behalf of the Offshore Wind Programme Board. It analysed data supplied from 10 UK offshore wind farms. The projects in the study make up almost 80% of the UK’s current operational capacity.

Some of the major work won by UK companies includes JDR’s cable manufacturing contract for the Greater Gabbard wind farm and Norfolk-based Seajacks’ contract to install the turbines at Sheringham Shoal.

Over the past year alone an estimated £840m of investment in the UK’s offshore wind industry has been retained in the country. This figure will be significantly higher over the entire lifetime of offshore wind farms.

The report is published during Offshore Wind Week, an industry initiative designed to highlight the progress and achievements of the UK offshore wind sector, with industry leaders meeting in London to highlight their commitment to annual reporting.

Benj Sykes, Co-Chair of the Government-Industry Offshore Wind Industry Council said: “By jointly committing to reporting on UK content, the offshore wind industry is showing how seriously it takes developing a strong and competitive UK supply chain alongside delivering clean affordable power to consumers.

“Offshore wind works, and with developers across the UK now reporting together on our contribution to the UK economy, we can more clearly demonstrate the value coming to businesses the length and breadth of the country. Already, we’re delivering 43% UK content, and are committed to increasing this level.

“We expect the amount of UK content to grow as more companies base their operations here. This includes the recent opening of a blade factory on the Isle of Wight, and Siemens’ landmark blade manufacturing and turbine assembly plant scheduled to open in Hull next year. This means more jobs and investment in local communities, proving that the offshore wind industry is making a substantial contribution to the British economy”.

RenewableUK’s Deputy Chief Executive, Maf Smith, said: “This report is the first of its kind. UK developers have agreed a common methodology to track UK content across the development, construction and operation of all offshore wind farms. Industry and Government will jointly track progress and publish updates on how UK content changes over time. This first benchmarking report already shows that the industry has made great strides forward in increasing the number of British companies being awarded sought-after contracts to develop, build and maintain projects.”