New OEUK report reveals smart support for offshore wind could be a game changer

15/05/2024
The new OEUK Offshore Wind Insight report

A NEW Wind Insight report published by Offshore Energies UK (OEUK) sets out the key opportunities and challenges for offshore wind deployment in the UK.

It says that smart new approaches are needed to overcome obstacles such as cost inflation and planning consent delays so the UK can unlock investment and power ahead in the global race for the next generation of projects, including game-changing floating wind technology.

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OEUK’s new insight report adds to the growing body of knowledge about the fresh opportunities the energy transition presents to the UK oil and gas supply chain, including recent findings by Rystad Energy, which show firms and their workforces up and down the nation have many of the core capabilities needed to deliver a homegrown energy transition, in the right investment environment.

For more than 50 years North Sea oil and gas have provided the primary source of energy, but in years to come electricity is expected to dominate the low carbon energy mix.

Much of this will be generated by offshore wind from installations fixed to the seabed as well as floating offshore wind (FOW) structures. This new report shows the UK already has 15GW of installed offshore wind capacity and is the second largest market in the world.

Wind power now represents around 30% of total UK electricity generation but development of the market is obstructed by factors which blunt investor confidence.

The report highlights the UK’s ambition to install 50GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030, with 5GW of that coming from floating offshore wind is in danger. Cost inflation, protracted planning consent timelines and delayed investment in the supply chain are all hampering progress.

Commenting on the findings, OEUK’s Wind & Renewables Manager, Thibaut Cheret says:

“Floating offshore wind could be a game-changer for the UK. We must help our supply chain win investment and improve planning processes to bring these large-scale, capital-intensive projects to the UK. 

“Our industry’s expertise in operating large deepwater projects and world-class subsea engineering means there’s excellent potential for securing a significant share of the new Floating Offshore Wind market.

“The UK can become a market leader in wind power generation and play a major part in delivering a homegrown energy transition.”

Key report findings:

  1. To meet its 2030 targets, the UK will have to use all the resources available to it and at an accelerated pace. Delivering the planned capacity under the Innovative & Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG 2) of 5.5 GW by 2030 is critical if the 5-GW target is to pave the way for ScotWind3 (28 GW), Celtic Sea (4.5 GW) and UK leadership in floating wind.
  2. Spending on offshore wind is now at about £7.7bn/yr and projected to rise to £15bn/yr by 2030 and possibly £29bn/yr by 2035.
  3. OEUK’s research shows that by 2035, if the conditions are right, the UK will have invested a further £132bn to install 65 GW of offshore wind capacity.
  4. The UK energy supply chain has unique capabilities that floating offshore wind requires: deep marine operations expertise; a strong offshore operations; a good safety and environmental track record; and extensive experience of managing capital projects. These all sit alongside world-class capabilities in subsea systems, subsea engineering, ,subsea electrical systems and cables.
  5. If the UK can meet its current growth plans, it will remain the biggest offshore wind generator– after China – until 2030 (By the end of 2024, the UK will have 18% of the estimated 85 GW of global offshore capacity.

OEUK’s Wind Insight was launched at a business breakfast at All-Energy in Glasgow. To get a copy of the report, please visit OEUK’s website.

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