The UK is said to be well suited to exploiting wind power, with turbines having been erected in over 30 locations. However, it is widely accepted that the sector has produced too few jobs. By 2030, the offshore wind power market is expected to be worth £30 billion per year, with the UK generating a third of its electricity from wind.
The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP) is a £100 million initiative designed to help UK businesses maximise opportunities in the global offshore wind supply chain market.
Activities will initially focus on helping supply chain companies with strategy and leadership, project management, people excellence, process excellence, health and safety culture, and quality management. It will also work with the offshore wind developers to provide greater long-term visibility of project pipelines that will help supply chain companies to plan and, if necessary, to invest in new capability or capacity.
Support will include a range of services, such as expert advice on manufacturing and commercialisation, as well as funding for innovation. This will:
- help UK companies currently in the UK offshore wind supply chain;
- enhance the ability of UK companies to export products and services around the world;
- enable companies from other sectors to enter the offshore wind supply chain; and
- inspire companies to develop the next generation of innovative products and services to meet specific industry requirements.
The programme is expected to support over 650 UK companies to access the domestic offshore wind market.
Industry Chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Counci, Benj Sykes, said:
"The offshore wind industry is offering multi-million pound opportunities to hundreds of innovative companies throughout the UK in the years ahead – including new entrants to the market, as well as firms already working in this area.
"The Offshore Wind Growth Partnership will provide practical help for UK companies so they can compete successfully for contracts in this thriving global market."
Companies will be invited to apply for support on a regular basis, with the first pilot opportunity anticipated to be launched in September 2019.