The Offshore Wind Sector Deal between the UK Government and the offshore wind industry aims to keep the UK’s global lead by hitting the 30GW capacity mark by 2030 and supplying 30% of the UK’s electricity needs.
Getting there will need a £48bn investment and a diverse workforce of nearly 30,000 people.
A key objective of the deal is to ensure that more of the UK supply chain benefits from this investment. Currently around 48% of offshore wind investment goes to UK businesses.
The Sector Deal wants this to grow to 60%. This growth will be supported by a £250mn supply chain fund designed to enhance productivity and competitiveness.
Vattenfall wholeheartedly supports this initiative.
And as the industry grows and strives for increasingly productive turbines, we hope that the north east establishes itself as a centre for international innovation in offshore wind.
The ingredients are there: our European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in Aberdeen Bay, Hywind off Peterhead, Kincardine off Stonehaven, great innovators in the region’s universities and an active local authorities channelling their enthusiasm for fossil-free energy through organisations like Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group.
This should also be a big deal for Scotland. The offshore wind sector here has only just got going, but the pipeline is significant and likely to grow after Crown Estate Scotland fires the starting pistol on new development opportunities later this year.
If this was just an industrial strategy, that would be ok.
But, the sector is also a key part of the UK’s and Scotland’s energy strategy.
Whilst we may use less power in our homes and businesses thanks to improved efficiency, overall demand is set to increase due to the switch to electric vehicles and electrically driven heating solutions.
A major UK offshore wind industry will be the backbone of the transformation to an economy free from fossil fuels.