The United Kingdom (UK) has set high targets for the development of offshore wind farms. Sceptics have claimed that such targets are unobtainable, but with the current investments being made and deals being signed within the UK, the future looks to be brighter than previously thought.
The UK has committed to bring 15 percent of its total energy from renewables by 2020, and has already constructed 2.67 gigawatts of offshore wind in order to reach this target (a figure included in Europe’s 4.3 gigawatt total). Previous to June 2012, offshore wind investment in the U.K. totalled 1.5 billion pounds, an investment that added an estimated 150 million pounds to 600 million pounds to the UK economy.
In recent news, Tag Energy Solutions near Billingham has reported that it has launched a recruitment drive for an initial 70 engineers in order to build steel sections of E.ON Climate and Renewables new wind farm off the Humber Estuary in East Yorkshire, a contract which is thought to worth more than ten million pounds.
Another nod goes to David Brown Gear Systems in Huddersfield who has successfully bid to wind a proportion of the £73 million from Round 2 of the Advanced Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative (AMSCI). This will help position the UK as a world leader in the creation of large gearboxes for the next generation of offshore wind turbines.
Edward Davey, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change recently said "The development of a thriving UK supply chain is vital to support our rapidly-growing offshore wind industry. The Government is working closely with industry to help fulfil its ambition to source at least half of all project content from within the UK. This will help build the lasting legacy of a strong domestic offshore wind manufacturing capability."
While it’s clear that deals and investments have and will continue to be made in this burgeoning industry, there is still a significant amount of work that needs to happen in order to reach the targets set. Comapnies involved in the offshore wind supply chain (developers and suppliers) now need to engage with one another at the early development or pre contract stage so that potential problems in the latter stages of a project’s lifecycle can be eliminated.
In a strive to help further the UK offshore wind supply chain, Wind Energy Update is pleased to announce its 3rd annual supply chain meeting that will address key industry challenges for contract negotiation and aims to identify possible action steps moving forwards. Many senior industry decision makers will gather in London this March including E.ON Climate and Renewables, Dong Energy, Vattenfall, C-Power, NorthWind b.v., Belwind b.v., GDF Suez, RWE Innogy, Statkraft to exchange their knowledge and experience on supply chain management for the benefit of all attendees.
This exclusive two day event has been specifically designed to provide technical, project, procurement and planning managers from all EU utilities/IPPs with the tools and directions they need to avoid bad contracts in 2013 and beyond.