The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has identified four new areas for innovation that UK companies can explore to seize opportunities from the growing, global offshore wind sector, expected to be worth £30 billion per annum by 2030.
The Offshore Wind Innovation Hub (OWIH), a joint initiative by ORE Catapult and the Knowledge Transfer Network, is the UK’s primary coordinator for innovation, focusing on offshore wind energy cost reduction and maximising UK economic impact. Its series of technology innovation roadmaps are advanced prioritisation tools that identify the innovation needs of the offshore wind sector by setting a series of industry technology challenges and calling for solutions.
Following extensive engagement with industry and academia, three new roadmaps have been added under the Operations & Maintenance and Windfarm Lifecycle area: Project Development; Reducing ecological impact and uncertainty; and Decommissioning, as well as a cross area category called Enabling Research.
Dr Stephen Wyatt, ORE Catapult’s Research & Innovation Director, said: “The new roadmap elements we’ve introduced offer even more opportunities for companies to get involved in the success story that has been the UK’s offshore wind sector – whether by developing new technologies and ways of working, or by pulling through technologies and expertise from other sectors.”
“With a UK market expected to be worth £4.9 billion annually by 2030, and £30 billion globally, this represents a huge business opportunity for UK companies to reap the rewards domestically and in new global export markets, creating GVA and high value jobs across the country.”
The need for innovation and a strong, indigenous supply chain is at the heart of the offshore wind industry’s proposed Sector Deal to Government. On behalf of the Offshore Wind Industry Council, former McLaren Group CEO Martin Whitmarsh is conducting a review of the UK supply chain to identify opportunities for UK firms to win a greater share of the growing domestic and global offshore wind market. The UK offshore wind sector has ambitious plans to at least triple installed capacity by 2030, increasing export value five-fold, and Whitmarsh and his team of industry experts are holding events across the UK throughout November and December to highlight these market opportunities.