United Kingdom

United Kingdom

UK offshore supply challenges highlighted

UK: The UK has a number of barriers to overcome if it wants to build a sustainable supply chain for offshore wind, according to a new report commissioned by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC).

There is a high need for cabling companies in the UK market
There is a high need for cabling companies in the UK market

"The UK Offshore Wind Supply Chain: A Review of Opportunities and Barriers" was commissioned by OWIC co-chairs, then-energy minister Michael Fallon and Dong Energy offshore UK manager Benj Sykes, in May.

The aim was to review the current state of the UK offshore supply chain. Despite having the largest offshore wind capacity in the world there has been criticism in the UK of the low number of domestic companies that were involved in bringing its 4GW capacity online.

Specific areas the review looked at were opportunities in the supply chain, including cabling, substations and foundations, as well as the barriers to entry and how best to use government support.

It found there were a number of issues, such as the difficulties facing new entrants without a track record, a requirement for greater transparency in the order pipeline and a need for more collaboration within the sector.

Additionally, it also called for a binding 2030 target and more consistent messages from government.

However, there are many opportunities in the UK offshore sector. The review said there was a high need for manufacturers of foundations, substations structures, cables and operations and maintenance. Turbine manufacturing was not included in the review.

Speaking about the report, Siemens managing director for the UK and northwest Europe, Matthew Chinn, who headed the review said: "The UK offshore wind sector needs a thriving supply base to secure its future and to complete the economic circle of benefits for UK society as a whole.

"More than that, local content can drive cost reduction, key to making offshore wind power truly competitive and sustainable in the longer term."

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