The offshore wind industry is welcoming today’s landmark announcement of a Sector Deal with the UK government. The agreement will help to create tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs across the UK and attract billions of pounds in investment to this country.
This is the first Sector Deal for a renewable energy technology. It puts offshore wind at the centre of the nation’s clean, affordable and reliable energy system, almost quadrupling our capacity from 7.9 gigawatts now to at least 30GW by 2030, generating one-third of our electricity.
The UK is already the world leader in offshore wind, with more capacity than any other country, the biggest offshore wind farms and the most powerful turbines. The supply chain extends to every part of the country, and UK companies are already exporting our offshore wind products and services to more than 20 countries. With the Sector Deal now in place, those exports are set to increase fivefold in value to £2.6 billion a year by 2030.
The Sector Deal builds on our nation’s success, notably by the industry investing up to £250m to develop the UK supply chain, increasing productivity and fostering innovation. This includes an investment of up to £100m in a new industry programme, the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, which will help UK companies seeking to grow their business in the rapidly-growing global offshore wind market, as well as a new initiative to develop skills for the sector.
The Energy and Clean Growth Minister Claire Perry said “This new Sector Deal will drive a surge in the clean, green offshore wind revolution that is powering homes and businesses across the UK, bringing investment into coastal communities and ensuring we maintain our position as global leaders in this growing sector.
“By 2030 a third of our electricity will come from offshore wind, generating thousands of high-quality jobs across the UK, a strong UK supply chain and a fivefold increase in exports. This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action.”
The Co-Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Ørsted UK Country Manager for Offshore, Benj Sykes, said: “Now that we’ve sealed this landmark deal with our partners in government, as a key part of the UK’s Industrial Strategy, offshore wind is set to take its place at the heart of our low-carbon, affordable and reliable electricity system of the future.
“This relentlessly innovative sector is revitalising parts of the country with transformational, sustainable opportunities, especially coastal communities, from Wick in the north of Scotland to the Isle of Wight, and from Barrow-in-Furness to the Humber. Companies are burgeoning in clusters, creating new centres of excellence in this clean growth boom. The Sector Deal will ensure that even more of these companies win work not only in the UK, but around the world in a global offshore wind market set to be worth £30bn a year by 2030”.
Andrew Jamieson, CEO of ORE Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, said: “Innovation has been at the heart of the UK’s tremendous success story to date in offshore wind and it will be vital in developing a strong, indigenous supply chain in areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence, digitalisation and enhanced operations and maintenance to capitalise on the global growth of the sector. With a UK market expected to be worth almost £5bn annually by 2030, and £30bn globally, this Sector Deal represents a huge opportunity for UK companies to reap the rewards domestically and in new global export markets, creating economic benefit and high value jobs across the country.”