The UK Government has pledged to invest millions of pounds in the offshore wind industry in a bid to create more jobs and boost the economy.
It will provide £20 million from its Regional Growth Fund to improve the UK wind industry’s supply chain and £46 million for the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Centre to join up innovation between industry, academia and Government to help businesses bring new products to market.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Energy Secretary Ed Davey launched a long-term strategy to strengthen the UK’s position in the offshore industry today, which they claim could potentially create 30,000 jobs and unlock £7 billion in the economy by 2020.
The announcement comes after a recent study claimed Britain is following the “worst of all worlds” offshore wind strategy.
Under the new proposals, offshore wind farm developers above a certain size will have to produce a supply chain plan before they can apply for a Contract for Difference (CfD), which is a long-term contract to provide stable revenues for investors in low carbon energy projects. The plan must set out how the project and procurement approached will encourage a wider, more diverse supply chain and support innovation and skills.
Mr Clegg said: “The race is now on to lead the world in clean, green energy… This strategy will help keep Britain as the world leader in one of the most important industries of the 21st Century. If we make the most of offshore wind’s potential in the UK, it can provide a big proportion of the energy that lights our homes and powers our economy.”
According to DECC, the UK currently has more offshore wind power than the rest of the world combined.