The UK must urgently develop the supply chain for its offshore wind farm industry or lose the opportunity to other countries, a report has warned.
A report by RenewableUK and Crown Estates said the UK has a “once-in-a-generation opportunity” to benefit from its position as world-leader for offshore wind farms.
“The UK has, by a country mile, the world’s most successful and ambitious offshore wind programme,” said Maf Smith, deputy chief executive, RenewableUK. “We expect to dominate the international league table for ambition in offshore wind for some time to come. However, it is important to consider the next phase of growth, and take stock of what further opportunities could come to the UK.”
UK wind farms currently provide three gigawatts of power while construction of new farms in areas such as Barrow, Belfast, Lowestoft, Merseyside, Grimsby, Teesside and Mostyn will add a further 1.5 gigawatts of capacity. By 2020 the country could be generating up to 20 gigawatts of offshore wind power, the report said.
Other European countries, however, supply the majority of components and services. And Germany and France are already providing financial incentives to develop infrastructure and are helping attract inward investment, the report authors said.
UK offshore wind supply chain must develop