Multi-million pound investment in offshore wind industry
The Government has unveiled a long-term strategy aimed at strengthening the UK’s position in the offshore wind industry in the hope that the sector will contribute £7 billion to the economy by 2020.
Funding will include £20 million from the Regional Growth Fund to improve the industry’s supply chain and £46 million to join up innovation between industry, government and academia, and help bring new products to market.
Key initiatives are as follows:
- £20 million from the Regional Growth Fund for GROW: Offshore Wind, a new Manufacturing Advisory Service to support the UK supply chain in becoming more competitive by offering tailored support from specialists.
- £46 million funding over five years for the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Centre to join up innovation between industry, government, and academia and help companies bring new products to market.
- A new Offshore Wind Investment Organization, established by UKTI, to attract inward investment to the UK.
- Industry-led initiatives to share information with the supply chain about procurement timelines and contracting decision points.
- A proposal that would require developers of offshore wind farms above a certain size to produce a supply chain plan before they can apply for a Contract for Difference (long-term contracts to provide stable revenues for investors in low carbon energy projects) setting out how the project and procurement approaches will encourage a wider, more diverse supply chain and support innovation and skills.
- Expansion of the scope of the DECC offshore wind manufacturing funding scheme to support port and coastal infrastructure development in assisted areas of England. Any grants offered will be conditional on sites securing manufacturing investment.
- The Green Investment Bank plans to invest a significant proportion of its £3.8 billion capital in offshore wind, co-investing in projects with commercial parties
Business Secretary, Vince Cable, comments: “We have more offshore wind power than the rest of the world combined and, if we get it right and strike now, we will also see this new technology creating thousands of jobs here as well.”