UK businesses to benefit from £100m offshore wind initiative

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A ten-year £100 million programme is being launched to support the growth of UK businesses looking to capitalise on opportunities in offshore wind around the world.

Launched by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) is a key part of the recent Sector Deal between industry and Government, which will see at least 30 gigawatts of offshore wind installed by 2030, generating a third of the UK’s electricity (up from 8GW now).

It will also see UK content in our offshore wind farms increase from 48% currently to 60% by 2030.

The OWGP will be delivered by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult which will provide support to supply chain companies to enable them to grow and to increase their competitiveness.

Support 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 over 650 UK companies to access the domestic offshore wind market, as well as creating further opportunities to enter a global market expected to be worth £30 billion per year by 2030.

It is anticipated the annual value of UK offshore wind exports alone could grow five-fold by the end of the next decade to £2.6 billion.

The OWGP will be governed by an independent board chaired by Martin Whitmarsh, the former McLaren Group CEO and Formula One Team Principal, who carried out a review of the UK offshore wind supply chain for the Offshore Wind Industry Council which was published in February.

Zoe Barnes, a partner at Everoze, a consultancy specialising in renewables, Stephen Burgin, an electrical engineer who has held executive roles in companies including ABB, Alstom and GE, and Richard Turner of business advisers Elan Solutions, a former President and CEO of JDR Cable Systems, have also been appointed to the OWGP Board.

The OWGP will invite companies to apply for support on a regular basis. The first pilot opportunity is expected to be in September with further programmes starting in early 2020.