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Strong offshore wind sector worth billions to the UK economy

Published 28 March 2017

A new report published today by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult highlights the huge economic benefits of a strong UK offshore wind industry, which could be worth as much as £2.9billion to the UK economy by 2030.

The Economic Value of Offshore Wind: Benefits to the UK of Supporting the Industry shows that the UK economy is already reaping the rewards of a maturing offshore wind sector. But latest figures suggest that continued cost reduction – resulting in lower levels of public financial support being required – coupled with increasing amounts of UK content in projects being commissioned and developed, will result in a significant increase in the economic return for the UK.

The key findings from the report are:

  • Supporting UK offshore wind is cost-benefit neutral with a strike price of £105 and 30% UK content. But industry is already doing better than this, and each additional 10% of UK content is worth a net £500m – £600m (depending on strike price), and each £10 strike price reduction is worth £240m – £350m (depending on the level of UK content).
  • The GVA to the UK per GW installed, given current UK content (input) is 32%, is £1.8bn and is estimated to increase to £2.9bn by 2030 – if a projection of 65% UK content can be achieved
  • If the next UK auction round achieved a strike price of £90 and 50% UK content, this would represent an estimated £1.7bn per GW net benefit for the winning bid.
  • Continued public support for, and investment in, the UK offshore wind industry will create a virtuous circle of cost reduction and economic growth.

Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive of ORE Catapult, said:

“Our latest report highlights that offshore wind is already a UK success story, but with continued investment and support the industry is capable of delivering so much more. Continued cost reduction and increasing amounts of UK content will significantly increase the economic value of new offshore wind projects, which forms the basis of a compelling sector deal in line with the UK’s current direction for industrial strategy, with industry and Government working together to maximise UK growth and job opportunities and continue the cost reduction journey.

“In addition, continuing technological innovation in key supply chain areas such as offshore wind turbine blades and foundations, and developing skills in, for example, offshore operations and maintenance, also bolsters the UK economy through the potential export of skills, products and services to the global marketplace.”