New £100m fund to maximise offshore wind opportunities for UK firms

The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership is expected to support more than 650 companies across the country

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A new £100 million fund aimed at helping UK companies capitalise on the “huge opportunities” offered by the growth in offshore wind has been launched.

The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) has announced the 10-year Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP), which will support the Sector Deal between industry and government that will see at least 30GW of offshore wind installed by 2030.

That would generate a third of the UK’s electricity – up from 8GW currently – and boost UK content in offshore wind farms from 48% to 60% over the next decade.

The OWGP will be delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, which will provide support to supply chain companies that will include a range of services such as expert advice on manufacturing and commercialisation as well as funding for innovation.

The programme is expected to support more than 650 companies across the UK to access the domestic offshore wind market as well as create further opportunities to enter a global market forecast to be worth around £30 billion per year by 2030.

The annual value of UK offshore wind exports is expected to grow five-fold to £2.6 billion over the next decade.

The OWGP will invite companies to supply for support on a regular basis, with the first pilot opportunity expected in September.

Benj Sykes, Industry Chair of the OWIC and Ørsted UK Country Manager for Offshore said: “The offshore wind industry is offering multi-million pound opportunities to hundreds of innovative companies throughout the UK in the years ahead – including new entrants to the market as well as firms already working in this area.

“The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership will provide practical help for UK companies so they can compete successfully for contracts in this thriving global market. The UK’s global pre-eminence in offshore wind means we are uniquely placed to sell our innovative products and services worldwide.”

The OWGP is conducting an in-depth assessment of the offshore wind foundations sector as its first project – it will assess the current and projected requirements for turbine foundations in the UK and abroad, identify potential barriers to growth and make recommendations to overcome these challenges.

The study will focus on fixed foundations such as monopiles and jackets as well as explore how this relates to future developments in floating foundations.

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