Offshore Wind in the UK set for a another bumper year in 2017

Joanne Leng, MBE
Joanne Leng, MBE

Construction in the UK’s offshore wind sector saw a real high in 2016, valued at £4.1 billion, a positive increase from the previous year, and importantly accounting for 21% of all UK construction contract value in the year.

New analysis from Barbour ABI, a leading provider of construction intelligence services, highlighted the “bumper year” the UK offshore wind sector experienced, from the point of view of the construction sector. Offshore wind farms accounted for 42% of all UK construction contract value in the utilities and power sector, and 21% of the country’s entire infrastructure sector. Further, Barbour ABI predicts that this trend is only set to continue through 2017, with a healthy pipeline of future offshore wind projects set to make 2017 another strong year, and up to £23.2 billion worth of construction contract value already in planning.

Michael Dall, lead economist at Barbour ABI has commented that the pipeline for future offshore windfarms is worth £23.2 billion of planned construction over the coming years, suggesting this burgeoning sector will continue to expand in 2017 and beyond.

Joanne Leng MBE, Deputy Chief Executive at NOF Energy and Deputy Chair of Energi Coast comments below about the Offshore Wind sector  and how the North East can support the growing sector in years to come

“The industry has substantially lowered the levelised cost of electricity, as a result of significant technological advancements in the sector. These have increased offshore wind’s competitiveness when compared to other energy sources.

In November 2016 round 2 for the CfD’s was announced with applications opening April 2017, there are several contenders competing which hopefully will result in further major project developments in UK waters. What is evident is that the industry, especially in Europe is now maturing and projects are much larger which undoubtedly will lead to some serious supply chain opportunities for UK companies.

Turning to Energi Coast and North East England. Energi Coast is the representative group of companies for the region’s offshore renewables sector. The group is managed by NOF Energy the leading business development organisation in the UK for companies involved in the offshore renewables, oil & gas and power sectors providing valuable business support to companies to help them win more business. The Energi Coast group meets on a regular basis to discuss the offshore renewables sector and how collectively the group can best promote regional capabilities to a UK and International audience.

Some of the leading players in the group include JDR Cables who have not only won a significant amount of work in the UK offshore wind market but have also exported their expertise recently signing a partnership agreement with US Wind to supply vital underwater power cables to its planned 750 MW wind project off the coast of Maryland. Many others in the Energi Coast group are also starting to make in-roads into the US offshore wind sector including Tekmar and Cathie Associates.

The North East of England is now a hub of supply chain activity when it comes to offshore wind, from a heritage of shipbuilding to oil and gas and now to the newer energy sectors. With a wealth of expertise and experience the region is leading the way for both innovation and technology advancements in the sector bringing efficiencies and cost reductions to projects. Couple this with its prime location for some of the offshore wind farm projects in the North Sea make the North East of England a fantastic choice as a hub for the big prize going forward which is the offshore wind O&M (operations & maintenance) market.

So not only do we have the larger offshore wind players here like JDR Cables, Deepocean and the newly arrived Smulders and Peterson but we have some very active Ports, specialist offshore wind training companies and small technology providers bringing game changing ideas to the sector.

The key to finding out more about the sector and the Energi Coast group is to engage, come along to some of the NOF Energy / Energi Coast networking events, in particular Energy A Balanced Future 2017 at Sage, Gateshead 8th March, it’s where the energy industry in the meets to network and do business”

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