UK creates new offshore wind body to attract investment

12 June 2013 (Last Updated June 12th, 2013 03:30)

The UK government has created an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to drive investment in the sector.

Offshore wind

The UK government has created an Offshore Wind Investment Organisation (OWIO) to drive investment in the sector.

OWIO, established by UK Trade & Investment, will stimulate jobs in the UK offshore wind industry, alongside government support for three offshore wind innovation projects.

UK Business and Energy Minister Michael Fallon said offshore wind is a major success story for the country and the government wants to boost levels of inward investment.

"This will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector later this year, and we are creating the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation to drive that activity," Fallon added.

"We already have more installed offshore wind than anywhere else in the world, and this brings enormous economic benefit to our shores, supporting thousands of skilled jobs."

Responding to the announcement, RenewableUK chief executive Maria McCaffery said: "This news is a welcome boost for British industry and restates the government's acknowledgement that offshore wind represents massive economic potential for the UK."

The study warns that unless UK seizes the opportunity, the manufacturing advantage will be lost to other European competitors.

A study by RenewableUK and The Crown Estate found that UK needs more wind turbine factories and manufacturing facilities to fulfil its offshore wind energy sector needs.

The study warns that unless UK seizes the opportunity, the manufacturing advantage will be lost to other European competitors.

The report states the UK offshore wind sector will need seven turbine tower factories, seven blade factories, seven nacelle factories, six factories to build foundations, six factories to build offshore substations and six cable factories by 2030.

Under its renewable energy road map, the UK government is planning to build 18GW of offshore wind generation capacity by 2020, against the 3.3GW installed to date.

Fallon has also announced £2m of support for three innovation projects as part of Offshore Wind Components Technologies Scheme.

Kent-based Power Cable Services has won a £540,000 grant towards its high-voltage subsea cable jointing project.

Aquasium Technology, Burntisland Fabrications and TWI have secured £769,600 towards their cost-effective fabrication project.

Wind Technologies has secured £728,355 to design, manufacture and test a 5MW medium-speed drive train concept.


Image: The UK government is planning to build 18GW of offshore wind generation capacity by 2020. Photo: Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

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