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April 25, 2024

Plans to Triple UK Offshore Wind Manufacturing Within a Decade

The UK has set out plans to triple offshore wind manufacturing capabilities within the next decade. A move which is expected to generate an economic boost of £25bn.

The plan, called the Industrial Growth Plan (IGP) has been developed in collaboration with RenewableUK, the Offshore Wind Industry Council, the Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland.

According to the IGP, each new gigawatt (GW) of offshore energy adds between £2bn and £3bn to the economy. The proposed plans could generate a total of £25bn in profit for the UK economy by 2035.

Additionally, the plans could create an additional 10,000 jobs per year. Currently, the UK has approximately 32,000 employees in the offshore wind industry.

The UK needs around 300 giant turbine towers to be built each year between now and 2030 in order to meet targets. However, there are supply chain constraints in many of the key components needed in offshore wind farms, which are starting to be felt in the global market. To overcome supply chain risks, the UK needs to build "strategic" new factories and manufacturing capabilities.

The UK Government has said that the IGP “will work with [its] £1bn Green Industries Growth Accelerator to make sure the UK can build out the supply chain”.

The plan also calls on the industry to incorporate new technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence to speed up the testing and manufacturing of new turbines. An estimated £3bn in funding will be needed nationwide, with a significant proportion of this coming from private finance.

RenewableUK's chief executive, Dan McGrail, said:

“Our Industrial Growth Plan is the deepest dive ever into the offshore wind supply chain, identifying the highest-value components and services which the UK should focus on to get the biggest economic bang for our buck from future wind farm development.
“The plan charts a clear course for us to ensure that we seize that massive economic opportunity and maximise our opportunities to manufacture those towers here, along with more blades, cables, foundations and a whole range of other products.”

Energy security secretary Claire Coutinho said:

“Britain’s windswept shorelines give us a competitive advantage in the global race for energy. That’s why, since 2010, Britain has been second only to China in building new offshore wind.
“The plans set out by industry today will work with our £1bn Green Industries Growth Accelerator to make sure the UK can build out the supply chain – including the turbine blades and high-voltage cables that we will need to produce cheaper, cleaner, more secure energy.”
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