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UK unveils £50m fund to strengthen offshore wind supply chain

UK unveils £50m fund to strengthen offshore wind supply chain


The Crown Estate has launched a Supply Chain Accelerator to drive early-stage investment in the UK’s offshore wind supply chain.

The accelerator is a new £50 million (approximately €58.7 million) fund set up to accelerate early-stage development and mitigate risks for projects related to offshore wind.

Now £10 million of initial funding has been released in a letter of intent for a company seeking to set up a UK project that could support the development of a new UK supply chain capacity for floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea.

The application process officially opens in mid-June and closes at the end of July. The final announcement is scheduled to be made in October 2024.

Earlier this year the Crown Estate published a research report called Celtic Sea Blueprint. The study predicts that 5,300 jobs and an economic boost of £4.1 billion could be created by deploying the first floating offshore wind farm as a result of the current leasing Round 5 process. The deal allows for up to 4.5 GW of generating capacity to be leased in waters off South Wales and south-west England.

The study outlined several supply chain development opportunities essential for floating wind farms, including floating platform components, dynamic cables and connections, wet storage infrastructure and facilities, operations and management infrastructure and facilities, and technology conversion facilities.

The accelerator’s first £10m funding round is targeting projects that address these opportunities and will provide matching funding of up to £1m for early-stage development. The Crown Estate said it would explore options to participate in the capital investment phase.

The Supply Chain Accelerator will enable investment in priority capabilities and skills to support the delivery of opportunities within the Celtic Sea Blueprint, driving regional economic growth for the benefit of the whole UK and enabling overseas activities to create value at home. “We will guarantee it.” Gus Jaspert, Managing Director of Marine at the Crown Estate, said:

An additional £40 million of funding has been earmarked, which could potentially be deployed to support UK projects that meet opportunities identified by the Industry Growth Plan launched last month, setting out the steps needed to triple offshore wind manufacturing capacity. . Next 10 years.

According to the Crown Estate's recently released UK Offshore Wind Report 2023, UK offshore wind pipelines will increase by 10GW to 93GW in 2023, with the sector generating 49TWh of power last year.

The UK government estimates that 125 GW may be needed by 2050 to achieve net zero. Investment in the UK’s supply chain is therefore vital for the industry to remain competitive despite global efforts to decarbonise energy networks. Private land.


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