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Environmental Audit Committee hears offshore wind can drive green economic recovery

04 June 2020  
Posted by: Rob Norris
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Offshore Wind Industry Council media release – Thursday 4th June 2020

Environmental Audit Committee hears offshore wind can drive green economic recovery

Offshore wind industry leaders have told the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee that offshore wind will play a central role in the UK’s economic recovery after the pandemic.

The Committee heard evidence of the economic opportunities offered by the sector from the Co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council and Head of Market Development, Consenting and External Affairs for Ørsted Benj Sykes, who said: “The offshore wind industry is investing £50bn in the UK economy over the course of this decade so that we can hit the Government’s target of 40GW by 2030. This technology is playing a major role in decarbonisation, thanks partly to the Offshore Wind Sector Deal agreed by Government and the industry which provides confidence and certainty for investors and developers.

“Consumers are benefitting too; offshore wind has smashed its cost reduction targets and is now one the cheapest ways to generate new power. We can drive down operation and maintenance costs even more by using robotics and sharing data more widely”.

“We’re continuing to innovate: the UK is the world leader in floating wind which is developing fast and allows us to build in much deeper waters further offshore. Renewable hydrogen, generated using electricity from offshore wind farms, will also play an important role in our energy system. We already have ground-breaking projects in the UK doing this and the technology will grow faster than anyone expects. Government has an opportunity here by supporting innovative projects”.  

The Chief Executive of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult Andrew Jamieson told the Committee: “At a time when both regenerating the UK economy and delivering on our decarbonisation commitments are more critical than ever, we believe greater innovation can transform the UK’s offshore wind supply chain, create jobs and economic growth and build a long-term, world-leading powerhouse industry. To achieve this, we need to see key measures such as an acceleration in the consenting process and modernisation of the grid.

“Quadrupling our current offshore wind capacity over the course of this decade will provide a tremendous boost to the UK’s economic productivity, in terms of manufacturing and servicing our projects and exporting our expertise around the world”.

RenewableUK’s Head of Policy and Regulation, Rebecca Williams told the committee: “The economic opportunity is absolutely huge. As this country exits lockdown and looks for economic solutions, offshore wind is playing a leading role by investing in communities, creating tens of thousands of highly-skilled jobs especially in coastal areas. We need Government to play its part by setting the right framework for the industry to expand fast as possible, such as strategic investments in developing modern infrastructure for ports where turbines are assembled and supply chain companies are based. If this can be achieved, we can make a significant contribution to the Government’s target of net zero emissions”.    


For further information, please contact:

·              Robert Norris, Head of Communications, RenewableUK 07969 229 913


1.       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.

2.       More details on the role of renewable hydrogen are available here.

3.       RenewableUK, Ørsted and ORE Catapult were giving evidence to the Environmental Audit Committee as part of their inquiry into Technological Innovations and Climate Change: Offshore Wind

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