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UK companies urged to seize offshore wind opportunities by former F1 boss

01 October 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Rob Norris
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Offshore Wind Industry Council media release – Monday 1st October


UK companies urged to seize offshore wind opportunities by former F1 boss


Opportunities for companies to get involved in the UK’s fast-growing offshore wind supply chain are being highlighted in a new prospectus by the former McLaren Group CEO and Formula One Team Principal Martin Whitmarsh.


The Offshore Wind Industry Prospectus showcases the expansion of a multi-billion pound global market in which UK companies are winning contracts to work on projects here and around the world. The UK is the global leader in offshore wind, and the international market is expected to be worth £30 billion a year by 2030. China, the USA, Germany and India are among the countries seeking to benefit from our expertise.   


In the document, Martin Whitmarsh notes that “These opportunities won’t only be for “traditional” offshore wind suppliers involved with components like turbines, foundations, boats and cables, but also in robotics, drones, sensors and big data to name just a few...It is a sector full of opportunity and now is the time to get involved”.


The prospectus was commissioned by the Offshore Wind Industry Council. OWIC is working with Government on a Sector Deal which aims to deliver at least a third of the UK’s electricity from offshore wind by 2030, by which time the offshore wind industry will employ 27,000 people. The domestic and export market for offshore wind products and services provided by UK-based firms is expected to be worth £4.9bn a year by 2030.  


The document underlines the fact that that UK companies lead the world in key services such as designing, building and operating offshore wind farms, as well as manufacturing blades and cables. It says there are further opportunities for the supply chain to grow here by manufacturing more turbine towers and foundations. It suggests that, with an ambitious Sector Deal between industry and government, around 60% of the content of UK offshore wind farms could be provided by UK companies by 2030; up from 48% today. 


The prospectus predicts that further innovation in turbine blade technology and materials, higher voltage cables and floating turbines will drive growth. It notes that as well as generating vast amounts of clean electricity, offshore wind farms can also help to finely balance the supply of power to the grid, providing flexibility to modern energy systems. It also suggests building on knowledge from the aerospace, automotive and space industries to foster more innovation.


Clark MacFarlane, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy UK Managing Director and OWIC lead for the Whitmarsh Review said: As this visionary prospectus shows, there are enormous opportunities for UK businesses in this multi-billion pound sector, so companies new to the industry should be excited by the potential to be involved. Hundreds of supply chain companies up and down the country are already winning contracts to work on projects here and abroad, and with the domestic and international markets set to expand, UK businesses are in a great position to win an even greater share of the global and domestic markets”.


The document was prepared by the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and the Whitmarsh Supply Chain Review Team on behalf of OWIC.

ORE Catapult Chief Executive Andrew Jamieson said, “The UK has been highly successful in recent years in developing truly world-leading expertise in the development and maintenance of offshore wind farms. But the real growth story is just beginning, and this report highlights the huge domestic and international opportunities over the coming years for innovative UK companies in fields like robotics, artificial intelligence, data & digitalisation and autonomous systems”.


The team will be hosting a series of roadshows around the UK later this year for companies wanting to learn more about opportunities in the offshore wind supply chain.



Media contacts:

    • Juliette Sanders, Ørsted: 07876 866 284

    • Rob Norris, Renewable UK: 07969 229 913


  1. The report is published on RenewableUK’s website in the publications section.

  2. Enquiries about Martin Whitmarsh’s supply chain review, the prospectus and the roadshows should be sent to:
    Mr Whitmarsh is supported by a team of industry experts: Clark MacFarlane of  Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Claire Canning from ORE Catapult, Kasper Sørensen from MHI Vestas Offshore Wind, Thomas Ellson from innogy and Victoria Sinclair from ScottishPower Renewables.

  3. The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), a senior Government and industry forum, was established in May 2013 to drive the development of the world-leading offshore wind sector in the UK. More details on OWIC are available here.
    The prospectus, commissioned by the offshore wind industry, builds on OWIC’s engagement with over 200 companies in 2017 as part of the Sector Deal process. The UK is developing  unique skills and technology, with companies scaling up operations and investing in offshore wind clusters in areas such as the Humber Estuary. General enquiries about OWIC should be sent to:

  4. The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult was established in 2013 by the UK Government and is one of a network of Catapults set up by Innovate UK in high growth industries. It is the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy and helps to reduce the cost of offshore renewable energy, supporting the growth of the industry and creating UK benefit. More details on the ORE Catapult are available here

  5. RenewableUK’s members are building our future energy system, powered by clean electricity. We bring them together to deliver that future faster; a future which is better for industry, billpayers, and the environment. We support over 400 member companies to ensure increasing amounts of renewable electricity are deployed across the UK and access markets to export all over the world. Our members are business leaders, technology innovators, and expert thinkers from right across industry.

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