UK set to seize £220m innovation opportunity from new UK-China offshore wind collaboration

Published 15 December 2017

Some of the UK’s most innovative small businesses and universities are set to gain access to one of the largest offshore wind markets in the world, following an agreement between the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, China’s Tus-Wind and TusPark Newcastle to work together to advance offshore wind technology co-operation between the two nations.

Under the agreement, the companies will:

  • Establish a UK-China Technology Growth Accelerator to boost UK SME technology innovation and deployment in the Chinese offshore wind market;
  • Collaborate on the development of the Tus Offshore Wind Science Park and 500MW demonstrator in Shandong Province, incorporating 10-15% UK content;
  • Create joint applied research projects with high potential companies and leading UK and Chinese academic institutions.

With ambitious targets to generate 20% of its energy from low-carbon sources by 2030, China’s rapidly growing offshore wind market is projected to be among the largest in the world. The 10-15% UK technology content in Tus’ 500MW demonstrator project, being delivered in close collaboration with the Dongying City Government, is estimated to be worth around £220m[1] to UK companies and Universities.

The Research and Development Collaboration Agreement was signed today at a ceremony at the British Ambassador’s residence in Beijing, hosted by the UK’s Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

“The UK is established as a leader in offshore wind which is helping us lead the world in transitioning to a low carbon economy and in meeting our climate commitments, while we grow the economy and create jobs.

“International research collaboration and clean growth are key to our modern Industrial Strategy and the agreement signed today will help to advance co-operation on offshore technologies with one of our largest global trading partners, unlocking further opportunities for projects across the UK and the rest of the world.”

Commenting on the agreement, ORE Catapult Chief Executive Andrew Jamieson said:

“The UK has a strong track record in innovation to drive cost reduction and operational excellence. This agreement between ORE Catapult and Tus will enable us to bring this world-leading experience to bear on the emerging Chinese market, drive British/Chinese academic collaboration and provide huge export opportunities for innovative UK businesses”.

Yingzhuo Du, Senior Vice President of TusEnergy, said:

“After a dozen years of rapid growth, China today manufactures and installs half of all onshore wind turbines in the world. We are now at the start of such a journey in offshore wind, and there is no better place to learn than from the extensive experience and expertise of UK innovators and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult”.

President Of TusPark UK, Zhuocun Lin, said:

“TusPark specialises in technology commercialisation, investment and industrial collaboration, and TusPark Newcastle enables us to tap into the extensive scientific, technological and industrial experience in the UK. With our model of “Two Countries, Twin Parks”, we are looking forward to helping some of the most innovative UK companies to develop business in China. Thanks to ORE Catapult, we are on the right track to facilitating collaborations between these two tech worlds”.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Chief Executive, Professor Philip Nelson said:

“Collaboration is key to delivering on the enormous promise of the clean energy revolution. The UK and China have already made great strides in the development of offshore wind technologies, and this agreement will allow researchers from both countries to further maximise the impact of new approaches that will deliver both an efficient energy source and environmental benefits.”

The Collaboration Agreement is the first major initiative on the Catapult’s previously announced International ORE Research Platform, funded by Innovate UK, which links UK-based technology developers with Chinese authorities including the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST), major Chinese wind farm developers and the Chinese Wind Energy Equipment Association (CWEEA).

ORE Catapult and Tus will hold workshops early in 2018 to identify which novel technologies could be most applicable for development for the Chinese offshore wind market. Companies wishing to participate should contact

[1] £220m is based on an estimated Capex of £3m/MW for development of a new offshore wind farm, not taking into account any additional value from ongoing operational activity once constructed.

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