United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK government launches investment body for offshore wind industry

UK: The UK government is setting up a new body charged with boosting inward investment and jobs in the offshore wind industry.

UK energy and business minister Michael Fallon
UK energy and business minister Michael Fallon

Business and energy minister Michael Fallon announced the creation of the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) in a speech at industry body RenewableUK's offshore wind conference in Manchester today.

OWIO will be a joint venture between the industry and government and will be led by an as yet unnamed "senior industry figure". Fallon said the body would complement the work of the government's business, industry and skills (BIS) and energy and climate change (Decc) departments and would be focused on the offshore wind supply chain.

"The real value will be in the long-term partnership between industry and government," he said.

During his speech to the RenewableUK offshore conference, Fallon also stressed the importance of continuing to reduce the cost of offshore wind to compete with other technologies.

"We need the best cost approach to meet our climate targets," said Fallon.

He defended the decision not to set a binding 2030 target, saying it is too far in advance without the proper context of a fifth carbon budget.

"We want to maintain some flexibility for the UK in determining its energy mix."

Fallon also announced three innovation projects the government will support as part of its offshore wind components technologies scheme.

Power Cable Services will receive £540,000 (EUR 634,000) to help its high-voltage subsea cable technology project. Aquasium Technology and its partners, Burntisland Fabrications and TWI, have been awarded a grant of £769,600 to develop cost-effective fabrication techniques. And Wind Technologies is getting £728,355 to design and manufacture a new 5MW turbine drive mechanism.

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