The UK supply chain for the global wind industry is a “British success story”, according to leading trade association Renewables UK.
Emma Pinchbeck the organisation’s executive director said the UK is at the front and centre of a green energy boom due to a number of factors.
She said the industry has seen an “unprecedented” level of investment in a relatively short span of time.
Around £9billion has been invested since 2010, with another £18billion earmarked for investment over the next five years.
The UK’s unique geography and extensive ties to the North Sea oil and gas industry also make it ideally situated to anchor globally exportable experience on British shores, she claimed.
Pinchbeck said: “There’s a really good British success story to be told that often gets missed.
“We are really well placed in the UK. We have had 40 odd years of experience with the North Sea.
“I think there’s an obvious overlap and we need to do more to target that transition.
“It’s just sensible economics, can you re-use any of that infrastructure? Those skill sets?”
Pinchbeck said that around 50 per cent of membership of Renewables UK is now made up of supply chain firms.
And with offshore wind meeting its cost reduction targets four years ahead of schedule, more and more private investment is expected to blow in this year.
Pinchbeck said: “I can’t think of another industry or sector achieving cost reductions in that way. It’s unprecendented.
“So much of that is down to innovation that is happening in the UK. This is a world leading industry.”
Another key factor building confidence in the wind market is the siting of much of supply chain in the Midlands.
“The supply chain is also in regions of the UK where there were once traditional manufacturing centres or were industrialised parts of the country. Places where we need jobs in traditional industries to come back.
“I find that a really powerful story; that these new modern global technologies are powering a renaissance in the industrial heartlands of the UK.”
She added: “There’a massive scale to this industry. But a lot of it translates down to real jobs for people in communities that really need them. And hopefully more jobs for people moving over from oil and gas.
“Not just because it helps this industry but it would be sad to see those skills moved overseas before we could grab them domestically.
“We are the global leader in an industry which is taking off all over the world.”