Growing the UK’s supply chain for offshore wind represents a £92 billion opportunity to boost the UK’s economy by 2040, according to a report by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) and the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP). The report, entitled ‘Supply Chain Capability Analysis’ outlines key measures that industry and government can take to strengthen the UK’s offshore wind supply chain, and in doing so maximise the socio-economic benefits that offshore wind growth can bring to the UK.
The UK has the second largest installed offshore wind capacity in the world, with a government target to more than treble this capacity by 2030 to 50 GW, including 5GW floating offshore wind. This expansion represents a significant increase in demand for equipment and services required to develop, construct, and operate offshore wind farms. Meanwhile, the expansion of offshore wind in other countries provides an opportunity for the UK to export its equipment, services, and expertise abroad.
The analysis finds that targeted intervention in the UK supply chain has the potential to bring £92 billion worth of ‘gross value added’ into the economy. But the analysis recognises more could be done to keep the UK’s supply chain resilient – with UK suppliers competing with those of other countries for vital contracts, and the jobs and opportunities they bring.
The analysis outlines some key areas of advantage for the UK supply chain, as well as areas for potential improvement. Among the report’s key recommendations are to take a systemic view of the supply chain, prioritising long-term economic value creation in areas where the UK could build globally competitive industrial capacity.
Sophie Banham, vice-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council, commented: “The UK has some world-class factories and organisations involved in renewables, and now we are in a global race for cleaner energy; we need to keep our foot firmly on the accelerator to avoid slipping behind and losing the advantages that we have gained.
This report and the detailed analysis that sits behind it, shows how the UK can develop its supply chain to maintain a leading role through a coordinated Industrial Growth Plan.
By intervening in key areas, we can ensure the UK’s ambitious deployment targets are achieved in a way that maximises benefit to the UK through the development of industrial clusters, inward investment and significant job creation.”
Tim Pick, chair of the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership, and the UK’s former Offshore Wind Champion, said: “Achieving [the full economic benefit] requires a co-ordinated strategy from both public and private sectors, with industry programmes like the OWGP playing an important role. There are significant lessons to be learned from the aerospace and automotive sectors where the UK already has nurtured a leading position”.