Offshore Wind News

The Offshore Wind Sector Deal: What Does it Mean for SMEs?


Firms of all sizes up and down the country are hailing the Offshore Wind Sector Deal agreed by the industry and the government as a major step forward which will create tens of thousands of jobs and attract billions in investment to the UK.

Matthew Wright, UK Managing Director at Ørsted, said: “The Sector Deal marks the coming of age of offshore wind as both a significant part of the UK’s energy transformation and an industrial powerhouse driving economic growth.  We should see the offshore wind industry as a huge UK success story. Costs have been driven down dramatically so that offshore wind is now competitive with conventional forms of energy generation, and at the same time the sector has delivered jobs, investment and growth across northern towns and cities. Ørsted alone will have invested over £13 billion in the UK by the end of 2021. This transformative Sector Deal will unlock significant additional investment from the whole industry and put offshore wind at the front and centre of the UK’s Industrial Strategy”.  

Julian Brown, Vice President and UK Country Manager of MHI Vestas Offshore Wind commented: “Today’s launch of the Sector Deal sets the long term context for MHI Vestas’ continued growth and job creation in the UK by putting the UK on a path to deliver at least 30GW by 2030.  Our recent investment on the Isle of Wight is already delivering on the Sector Deal ambitions, creating nearly 400 new highly skilled jobs in 2019, exporting over three quarters of our 2019 output and investing £1 million in a four-year skills programme.  I’m excited that MHI Vestas will play an important part in the UK’s offshore wind revolution in the next decade”. 

Andrew Jamieson, CEO of ORE Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, based in Glasgow and Blyth, said: “Innovation has been at the heart of the UK’s tremendous success story to date in offshore wind and it will be vital in developing a strong, indigenous supply chain in areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence, digitalisation and enhanced operations and maintenance to capitalise on the global growth of the sector. With a market expected to be worth £4.9bn to the UK annually by 2030, and £30bn globally, this Sector Deal represents a huge opportunity for UK companies to reap the rewards domestically and in new global export markets, creating economic benefit and high value jobs across the country”.

Gunnar Groebler, Vattenfall’s Head of Business Area Wind, said: “We know that we can meet the challenge of delivering a third of UK electricity demand by 2030 in partnership with the government, underpinning the shift to a low carbon economy. And we know that an energy strategy that delivers a diverse workforce of tens of thousands and invests in UK businesses is vital to a successful transition. That is why the Offshore Wind Sector Deal should be seen as the most important agreement forged by any part of the UK energy sector this century”.  

Keith Anderson, ScottishPower Chief Executive, said: “ScottishPower is proof that offshore wind works, we’ve worked tirelessly to bring down costs and, having transitioned to 100% renewable energy, will be building more windfarms to help the UK shift to a cleaner electric economy. Two of our offshore windfarms in East Anglia will replace ALL of the old thermal generation we’ve sold and we are ready to invest more by actively pursuing future offshore projects both north and south of the border.  We have a fantastic supply chain already in place in the UK, from businesses in and around East Anglia to across England, across Scotland as well as Northern Ireland.  The Sector Deal will attract even more businesses in the UK to join the offshore wind supply chain and we are excited to see the transformative impact this will have on our projects”.  

Clark MacFarlane, Managing Director of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy UK, said “Siemens Gamesa (SGRE) welcomes the Sector Deal as recognition that Offshore Wind can be a key driver in a buoyant low carbon economy for generations to come. It confirms the confidence we had to invest in our Hull facility, now employing over 1,100 people. The Sector Deal elements of innovation, developing skills, creating a more diverse work force and supporting local people is in the DNA of our company”. 

Paul Cowling, Director Offshore Wind, innogy SE commented: “The Offshore Wind Sector Deal is fantastic news for the UK, the offshore wind industry and the environment. innogy already has a portfolio of 7 offshore wind farms in the UK, and the announcement of this deal will give developers like ourselves the confidence and security to develop projects into the next decade and beyond. Crucially, this deal will also lead to thousands of new UK jobs and will create significant opportunities for the UK supply chain and businesses up and down the country”.

CEO of EDF Renewables UK Matthieu Hue said: “This deal will help the UK meet its climate change challenges by increasing low carbon generation and the support means we can continue to drive down costs for electricity customers. It will also strengthen R&D and innovation in the industry which we welcome and can already demonstrate in our 41.5 MW Blyth Offshore Demonstrator wind farm in the North East of England, the first to use float and submerge gravity based foundations and a 66Kv cable. We have our 62MW Teesside offshore wind farm near Redcar and in Scotland we are working on the 450MW Neart Na Gaoithe offshore wind farm project in the Firth of Forth which confirms our commitment to the industry”. 

Senior vice president for new energy operations in Equinor, Beate Myking, said: “Equinor is committed to delivering on the goals of this ambitious Sector Deal, in advancing wind operations and new projects that will have lower costs, create highly-skilled jobs throughout the supply chain and – with floating wind – keep the UK at the forefront of new global markets”.

John Lavelle, VP and CEO of GE’s Renewable Energy Offshore Wind business said “We welcome the UK’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal as it will bolster the industry’s growing momentum, bring confidence to the sector and help further develop the UK’s leading position in the offshore wind industry. This is a significant milestone that confirms the willingness of the UK government to continue to grow the domestic offshore wind segment aided by supportive policies to develop the supply chain and bring innovative technologies to market.  At GE Renewable Energy we are investing nearly £15 million mostly in the UK, by partnering with local players in areas such as innovation, research & development, testing offshore wind turbines nacelles and blades, developing local SMEs, and certifying potential UK Haliade-X 12 MW suppliers for local and global projects”.  

James Ritchie, Chairman of Energi Coast and CEO of Tekmar Group plc, said: “The Sector Deal for offshore wind is a significant step forward in creating a sustainable industry and providing real value creation to our local supply chain.  Offshore wind is a central part of the world’s clean energy future due to its renewed competitiveness and scalability.  Delivering it requires an innovative supply chain to produce effective and efficient technology and services that support the construction, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms, which is something the North East has done successfully.  The Sector Deal will support the development of supply chain clusters, such as the maturing Energi Coast group of companies in the North East of England, which builds on a heritage from maritime and subsea oil and gas and have been at the forefront of this exciting renewable sector since its inception.  This region has been instrumental in the establishment of the UK offshore wind industry and has led the way as a major contributor to local content with innovative subsea and offshore technology.  We hope to increase our role to play as the industry evolves further on the back of this significant Sector Deal”.

Bill Scott OBE, Chief Executive of Wilton Engineering, said: “The report Wilton Engineering commissioned in 2018, written by former Energy Minister Sir Michael Fallon, highlighted the importance of a Sector Deal to the offshore wind industry and its supply chain.  The UK contains clusters of highly-experienced and expert suppliers, which are integral to the future success of the industry and will benefit from the Sector Deal.  It will also bring increased confidence within the supply chain to invest in the development of their capabilities and technology and I am delighted that the Government, working in partnership with the industry, has brought the creation of the Sector Deal to fruition.” 

Huub den Rooijen, Director of Energy, Minerals and Infrastructure at The Crown Estate said: “Today’s announcement recognises the extraordinary role for offshore wind as part of our nation’s clean energy future. As managers of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we’re focused on working in partnership with Government, stakeholders and the sector to facilitate a sustainable pipeline of new projects out to 2030 and beyond”. 

Colin Palmer, Head of Marine for Crown Estate Scotland, the public body that manages seabed leasing in Scotland, said: “This Sector Deal provides an opportunity for Scotland to further strengthen and develop its offshore wind supply chain. Combined with our new ScotWind leasing round to be launched later this year, it gives the sector confidence to commit to, invest in, and work with others in Scotland to create jobs and affordable clean energy”.