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The UK offshore wind sector is at the

centre of a 'renewables revolution' estimated to be worth more

than £100 billion

over the next 20 years.

Yet there is a huge challenge facing both

the UK Government and industry to make

sure British companies and suppliers

benefit from the growth to come, which in

manufacturing alone is estimated to be

worth £15 billion in the UK, and with a

further £50 billion global export market.

The stakes are high and the sector is on

a road to transform the UK supply chain

to win the business...

When it comes to offshore wind Britain leads

the world. More turbines than anywhere

else; more growth planned than anywhere

else; more jobs than anywhere else. In fact,

more offshore wind has been developed in

the UK than the rest of the world combined.


As we went to Press over 30 new offshore

wind projects were planned in UK waters

and, with confidence growing, world players

are beginning to commit to build factories in

the UK to produce the thousands of wind

turbines needed - including a £310 million

investment by Siemens and Associated

British Ports to build two factories for offshore

wind turbine manufacture in Hull.

This makes offshore renewables a unique

opportunity for engineering companies at all

levels, especially as Government and industry

are already taking action to grow a

vibrant UK supply chain for the sector.

At the heart of it all is the UK's Offshore

Wind Industrial Strategy, a 76-page document described as a "blueprint"for the sector.

It was signed off at the end of 2013 by

three Ministers - Vince Cable (Business,

Innovation and Skills), Edward Davey (Energy

and Climate Change) and Michael Fallon

(Business and Enterprise and Minister of

State for Energy).

The Strategy's stated aim is "to build an

innovative, competitive UK-based supply

chain to transform the sector's manufacturing capability."

Today only a "modest amount of contracts"

are served by UK manufacturers, says the

strategy; but the vision is to make the UK "a

centre of engineering excellence...and achieve

levels of UK content similar to the North Sea

oil and gas industry where 70% of capital

expenditure is through UK-based suppliers."

There are a range of actions in place to

develop and grow this competitive UK supply chain, and to

attract inward investment in

offshore wind. These range from practical

support to spread best practice and

advanced manufacturing capabilities to easier access to


But one of the most innovative moves is

within the framework for awarding major

contracts - a mechanism called Contracts

for Difference (CfDs) which effectively guarantee

investors stable prices for 15 years.


To receive the CfD developers must first prepare

a supply chain plan which sets out how

the project and buying approach will:

• Support sustainable supply chain development

• Encourage a wider, more diverse supply

chain; and

• Support innovation and skills development.

Details of the information needed has been

developed by key stakeholders, including

the developers themselves, with the







The London Array, left, is currently the world's

largest offshore wind farm and has a capacity of

630MW. It produces enough power for nearly

500,000 homes and during construction over 75

organisations helped to build it. The photo is courtesy

Siemens which, with ABP Ports, has

announced two new offshore wind turbine factories

to be built in Hull. Above: Courtesy RenewableUK


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