UK technology innovators and researchers set to gain access to the world’s fastest growing offshore wind market
The UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult is partnering with China’s Tus-Wind to establish the TUS-ORE Catapult Technology Research Centre, a £2m, three-year investment backed by the Yantai local government authority.
Based in Yantai in China’s Shandong Province, the Research Centre will drive the development of innovative technologies and support the development of an offshore wind farm of at least 300MW capacity, with a minimum 10% UK content. This represents a UK supply chain export opportunity of at least £90m and provides a launch pad for the UK to access the Chinese wind market, estimated to be worth £15bn by 2030.
The Centre will assist UK SMEs looking to enter the Chinese market, and lead Research & Development projects to drive collaboration between China and the UK.
In December 2017, ORE Catapult signed a Research and Development Collaboration Agreement with TUS-Wind and TusPark Newcastle, witnessed by the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, in which the organisations committed to working together to advance offshore wind technology cooperation between the UK and China.
Since then, the Catapult has organised a number of workshops aimed at introducing UK SMEs to the Chinese market and in March 2018 was part of an Innovate UK trade mission to China along with 15 UK companies. The Research Centre is the next stage in further developing the collaboration.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: “Clean growth is one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time and through our Industrial Strategy we’re determined to seize the industrial opportunities from clean energy, creating good jobs while tackling climate change.
“This exciting international collaboration shows how UK companies, backed by government, are exporting products and expertise worth tens of millions of pounds around the world.”
Dr Stephen Wyatt, ORE Catapult’s Research & Innovation Director, said: “China is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for offshore wind technologies, and this presents a huge opportunity for technology transfer and for UK companies to export their innovative products and services to one of our largest global trading partners.”
Mr Yingzhuo Du, Senior Vice President of TusEnergy, added: “UK collaboration plays an ever more important role in global economic growth. The collaboration with ORE Catapult forms a bridge between two of the leading countries in the offshore renewable energy industry. It helps drive the cost of renewable energy down. Moreover, we expect to have new technologies developed and commercialised out of China-UK joint research projects.
Mr Yan Dailing, deputy mayor of Yantai City, said: “Yantai City is China’s first coastal open city. Cooperation with the UK has a long history. We cooperate in academic research, cooperative education, trade and investment. The “two countries twin parks” collaboration has a UK presence in Newcastle, England, and the Chinese presence is in Yantai City, Shandong Province. China and the UK will fully contribute their respective strength in marine science and technology development, set up an enlightened China-UK marine science technology research centre, develop an offshore wind farm and set up a clean energy industry fund to jointly build a professional platform for R&D, incubation and promoting offshore clean energy technologies in China and the UK, accelerating the development of marine technology to a higher level.
 £90m is based on an estimated capex of £3m/MW for the development of a new offshore wind farm, not taking into account any additional value from ongoing operational activity once constructed.
 This figure is based on an ORE Catapult internal calculation, assuming total global offshore wind installed capacity of 1ooGW and an estimated 30% Chinese share of the market.