Operation Zero

Published 8 November 2021

As both a potential producer and user of clean fuels, the UK’s offshore wind industry is in a unique position to act as a springboard for that broader maritime decarbonisation. The energy generated by offshore wind farms is likely to form part of the maritime fuel mix of the future. Collaborative action from industry leaders across the supply chain is imperative, as is governmental bodies cooperation in helping de-risk these investments and facilitating the path for the industry.

Operation Zero recently announced an updated roadmap at London International Shipping Week 2023.


Operation Zero, launched at COP26, is an industry coalition working together to accelerate the decarbonisation of the operations and maintenance vessels in the North Sea offshore wind sector, with a view to making zero-emission operations and maintenance vessels a reality in the region by 2025.

28 founding members signed the declaration from across the offshore wind supply chain from the UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium,  including industry majors Siemens Gamesa, Orsted, RWE, Vattenfall, ScottishPower Renewables, Equinor, ABP, Lloyds Register, Bibby Marine, North Star Renewables and the ORE Catapult.


The declaration outlines the potential for this segment to be a first mover as well as the group’s mission statement and ambitions, and the pledges of members to work together towards decarbonisation of the sector.

In signing the declaration, members pledge to:

  • Ensure that wider consideration is taken for environmental impacts and sustainability
  • Share best practice in the decarbonisation of operations and maintenance vessels in the offshore wind sector
  • Maintain an open dialogue between industry and government, to facilitate this transition as much as possible
  • Explore the potential for offshore wind to be a part of shipping’s future fuel mix, and for the sector to play an active role in decarbonising the wider maritime industry
  • Work collaboratively in ensuring that costs and risks inherent to the energy transition are fairly distributed, and that all tiers across the supply chain will make an equitable contribution to reaching our collective ambition


Since the signing the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the Department for Transport have been working with industry partners to put together an implementation plan to ensure that the goals of Operation Zero can be met through close dialogue between government and industry and targeted programmes to address specific challenges.

The coalition is interested to hear from companies and organisations who are aligned with the goal of decarbonising maritime operations in Offshore Wind and would welcome contact via the details below.

Wider Impact

This targeted and collaborative action should allow for quick and efficient results, as well as accelerating the deployment of clean energy – from production to consumption. Furthermore, by demonstrating that achieving these commitments is possible, the coalition aims to encourage other regions and shipping sectors to follow suit and act to transform their own fleets. Operation Zero is just one step in the right direction towards achieving our Net Zero targets, and to drive the change that we need to see internationally.

ORE Catapult’s Role

As part of Operation Zero, ORE Catapult and the Workboat Associations delivered a technology roadmap in June 2021 for the decarbonisation of offshore wind operations and maintenance vessels. This was intended to bring together an evidence base for the sector’s decarbonisation and provide an initial steer for the work of the coalition.

The roadmap suggested that the industry will build as many as 1,400 new vessels between now and 2050 just for O&M, including more than 300 SOVs, as we scale from the 25GW (iii) of European operational offshore wind we have today to 400GW by 2050 (with 100GW based in the UK), which equates to a sixteen-fold growth in less than 30 years.

ORE Catapult is excited to add Operation Zero to the diverse group of projects within clean maritime that it is involved in. The Catapult looks to ensure that offshore wind plays a key role in forging the emerging clean maritime industry of the 21st Century – driving rapid innovation, improving sustainability and levelling up through the creation of high-value jobs in key maritime clusters across the UK.

As part of Operation Zero, ORE Catapult will work with both government and industry on this decarbonisation agenda in the months and years ahead, committing fully supporting the future work under the initiative.

Download the Official Operation Zero Declaration

Contact Our Team

David Cooper

Regional Partnership Manager

Email David Cooper

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