Boost for UK’s Offshore Wind Investment
By Leigh Teixeira
Michael Fallon, the UK’s Business and Energy Minister, recently said that to boost investment and to create jobs within the UK’s offshore wind energy industry; the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation has been created.
The Organisation will run alongside other Government initiatives for 3 offshore wind farm projects.
Mr Fallon made this announcement during his speech at the Renewable UK’s Offshore Wind 2013 conference earlier in the month.
Mr Fallon has said that offshore wind is one of the UK’s greatest success stories and the government would like to increase inward investment. This is a key area for the energy industry’s industrial strategy for the second half of this year. The Offshore Wind Investment Organisation was designed to encourage this activity.
The UK is the world leader in offshore wind farms, which is bringing great economic benefit by creating thousands of jobs for skilled labourers. The creation of this industry led organisation and the government’s support of innovative projects, the positive benefits brought by offshore wind farms to the country’s economy will be greatly boosted.
The Offshore Wind Investment Organisation was put together based on a recommendation from the impending industrial strategy and it will be led by a senior person from the energy industry. The Organisation was established by the UK’s Trade and Investment, This is a partnership between Government and the energy industry. It is designed to complement the BIS and the DECC in delivering offshore wind farm projects.
Mr Fallon has also announced what the 3 different innovative projects are, and that the Government will be supporting these projects as part of its Offshore Wind Components Technology Scheme.
The first was Wind Technologies LTD based in Cambridge, who has been granted £728 355 to develop, build and test an advanced 5 megawatt medium-speed drive train.
The second was a grant of £540 000 awarded to the Kent based Power Cable Services Limited. The money will be used to fund their project on high powered subsea cable jointing equipment.
The third company to benefit would be Aquasium Technology Ltd, along with their partners TWI and Burntisland Fabrications LTD. They have been granted £769 600 to work on their project of developing cost effective fabrication.
Delegates of the energy industry who were at the conference were able to be at the initial “Share Fair” session. This gave them the opportunity to hear about the various investment opportunities that the main companies in the energy market had to offer. This has addressed one of the most essential points which have been recognised by the partnership between Government and the industry. Some of the companies which were apart of Fair Share included Statoil, Dong Energy and Scottish Power Renewables.
The intention of the Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy is to encourage companies to move to and to grow in the UK, build and encourage competitiveness within the UK’s supply chain, improve the skilled labour, create jobs, help the economy and also to ensure that there is a diverse mix of renewables to the UK’s energy supply.
The partnership between Government and the industry is intended to last decades and it will set out how the Government will be supporting the growth of businesses, and recognises the lead times of investments. The partnership is intended to generate confidence in the industry, that will encourage investment and thus create jobs.
It is expected that by 2021, should strong growth in the offshore wind farm industry continue, it could be supporting at least 30 000 jobs in the UK.
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