RenewableUK, the Offshore Wind Industry Council, The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland have partnered to produce a new Industrial Growth Plan (IGP) for offshore wind.
Multinational professional services firm KPMG will also support the development of the IGP which is being created in a bid to boost long-term growth for the UK offshore wind sector. The IGP is anticipated to be published in early 2024.
RenewableUK confirmed that the document would “set out the priorities and programmes to build the UK’s competitive advantage in a growing global market, meet our innovation needs building on our existing capabilities and close supply gaps that put our domestic targets at risk”.
This development is anticipated to be welcomed by the wider industry with RenewableUK believing that a “robust plan” is required for the industry to meet the UK’s 50GW of operational capacity by 2030 offshore wind target as well as energy security – something that has been branded as “essential” by the organisation.
Dan McGrail, CEO of RenewableUK, said: “The UK has a solid foundation on which to build a globally competitive supply chain but we’re battling headwinds from high inflation, investment challenges and increased ambition from competitor nations.
“That’s why this is the right time to take a more strategic approach that defines our position and the unique value offering the UK can bring to the international supply chain and meet our domestic targets. The IGP will set out strategies for capturing value across the lifecycle and steer investment into critical areas to grow the economy and secure our energy future.”
Will Apps, head of marine development, The Crown Estate, added: “The development of offshore wind is an opportunity to drive investment, boost economic growth, improve energy security and support the energy transition.
“With more than 13.6GW of capacity already commissioned, a significant pipeline and early mover advantage in new technologies such as floating wind, the UK is well-placed to capture the domestic and international opportunities associated with the market.
“The IGP will provide the pathway to ensure this potential is realised by identifying interventions and steering investment to maximise the benefits in terms of jobs, growth, skills and equally ensure the capability exists to deliver the future offshore wind portfolio.”
Development of an offshore wind IGP complies with offshore wind champion recommendation
It is important to note that Tim Pick, the UK’s offshore wind champion, called for the creation of a IGP in the Seizing our opportunities: independent report of the Offshore Wind Champion report, which was published April 2023.
In the report, Pick called for a “sober and thorough strategic competency make-or-buy analysis which takes into account the UK’s comparative advantages and opportunities for disruption”.
RenewableUK stated that this would ensure British industry can be positioned to take advantage of the global boom in offshore wind and deliver the pipeline of domestic projects.
Pick’s report also outlined that a “greater emphasis” from The Crown Estate and continued progress from Crown Estate Scotland on supply chain development as part of their seabed leasing processes could be a major boost to the sector. Their involvement in the IGP is a step in the right direction.