Andrew Stephens, Business Development Manager for SPIE UK's Specialist Services division, discusses how offshore wind fits into the Government’s net-zero carbon emissions plan.

Build & Connect news

Posted by SPIE UK

Offshore wind is a success story for the UK. The sector has gathered momentum since the development of the first pilot wind farm back in 2000, which consisted of just two 2MW turbines. The UK is now in development of what will be the world largest offshore wind farm, Dogger Bank, due to go live in 2023.

Back in October, the UK Government announced plans to drive to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. The plan sets out a strategy to "Build Back Greener" while striving to make the UK the world leader in clean wind power.

Part of this strategy will see the UK Government committing to producing enough electricity to power every home within the country by 2030 purely by offshore wind alone. This would boost the requirement to 40GW, and as it stands, we currently have just over 10GW installed capacity.

An ambitious strategy but one in which, amongst many other aspects, will require considerable investment into the UK supply chain - equally so if the Sector Deal holds true to its word on its commitments to secure 60% local UK content, which so far has been challenging.

Transition Pieces for the Hornsea One Offshore Wind Farm

Over the year, we have seen positive UK Government investment such as the Offshore Wind Growth Partnership (OWGP), with £100m being invested to support businesses, raise productivity, and improve supply chain competitiveness. Also, the more recent £160m being made available to upgrade ports and infrastructure bringing with it an estimated 2,000 new constructions jobs.

There is a huge opportunity for UK supply chain companies to be involved in the Build Back Greener campaign, and to bring innovation and experience from other UK sectors. Many over the years have sought opportunity and diversification into offshore wind but have struggled to break into the sector as a new entrant. However, given the UK Government's latest commitments, now may be a good time to revisit the sector and renewable power as a whole.

SPIE are a leading multi-technical services provider. We work with our clients to help them achieve their net-zero targets. As a business, we have supported and delivered projects across the renewable energy spectrum; from offshore wind and solar to EV charging and battery storage solutions. Our investment, innovation and dedication within this area continues to grow and helps strengthen the UK Government's ultimate 2050 net-zero vision.

Andrew Stephens
Business Development Manager
Specialist Services

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