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RenewableUK and The Crown Estate published their latest industry report today, written by BVG Associates.  This report highlights the ‘once in a generation’ chance to benefit from its position in offshore wind energy, by stimulating investment in manufacturing and installation infrastructure to attract major companies to the UK to set up new manufacturing locations.
 
The next 12 months will be a critical period in the creation of a strong domestic industry. The report states that, by 2030, the UK’s offshore wind industry will need as many as 7 turbine tower factories, 7 blade factories, 7 nacelle factories, 6 factories to build foundations, 6 factories to build offshore substations and 6 cable factories. The industry will also require more than 20 huge seagoing vessels to install offshore turbines, and a further 230 vessels to carry workers to and from the turbines once they are operational. The supply chain will need to progress with major investment if it is to be ready to supply what will be needed. If there is a delay, investment will be made overseas to serve both local and UK markets. Less than a quarter of the currently operational or announced coastal turbine and foundation production and installation facilities is located, or is planned to be located, in the UK and uncertainty is currently inhibiting future infrastructure investment. The opportunity for industrial development in this market is still considerable but the UK must give companies confidence about the size and stability of the long term market to secure a significant proportion of the remaining investment in the face of strong international competition.
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