The Future of the offshore renewable supply chain?
ORE Catapult engineer Lorna Bennet working at the Levenmouth Demonstration Turbine - Credit: Tracy Gow / ORE Catapult

The rapid growth and development of the offshore wind sector offers a huge opportunity for the UK supply chain. But what does this opportunity really mean and what is the UK supply chain?

A vast number of offshore wind projects, alongside tidal stream, solar and other renewables, are set to go ahead over the next 10 years – including projects linked to ScotWind, INTOG and the Celtic Sea leasing round. Not only will these projects propel the country towards its net-zero targets, but they will also help to create greater energy independence through a strong and sustainable domestic renewable energy supply.

But with a UK Government target to reach 50GW of offshore wind installed by 2030, there are challenges as well as opportunities, ahead.

There is significant pressure on both industry and governments to make sure this rapid expansion in offshore renewables is matched with tangible benefits for the UK economy. For the UK to fully reap the economic rewards of offshore energy development, new and innovative ways of working are needed to prepare UK companies for future deployment.

The supply chain is made up of people – their skills and knowledge, as well as technology – the engineering and AI of the future, and innovation. All of these are needed to make offshore installation a reality.

The UK supply chain is local, regional and national, but strategic collaboration is needed to realise the opportunity across coastal communities, regional boundaries and national interests – joining together people, technology and innovation.

As demonstrated by the various leasing rounds mentioned, the UK has successfully established a project pipeline, but the focus also needs to be firmly on ensuring we are developing the right skills pipeline. Industry and government have an important part to play but we should be open to innovative new ideas as we invest in and attract the skills needed for the near future.

At ORE Catapult we are supporting the UK supply chain by working with companies that are developing new products and services for the market, de-risking offshore projects to secure future jobs, and addressing the various stages of supply chain growth with programmes that support companies from concept to commercialisation. We support innovation and the development of technology and provide programmes that allow ideas to become a reality.

Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024