The country retained its top spot on the global rankings with 10.4GW installed, as further analysis – also by trade organisation RenewableUK – showed that investment in UK offshore wind manufacturing has hit new heights.
Investors have made major announcements totalling over £900m in new factories so far this year, the highest annual amount since the industry began in the UK in 2000.
Yesterday (28 September), for example, JDR Cables unveiled plans for a new factory in Cambois near Blyth in Northumberland, creating 170 jobs. The new facility is part of a £130m investment, which will also safeguard 270 jobs at the cable manufacturer’s existing plant in Hartlepool.
Other announcements made this year include GE’s plans to transform a Teesside steelworks into a turbine blade factory, and a £260m investment by South Korean firm SeAH Wind in an offshore wind turbine monopile foundation factory at the Able Marine Energy Park on the south bank of the Humber.
While the UK leads the world on operational capacity, its 63.2GW ‘pipeline’ of planned and operational farms was just beaten into second place by China, which has a total pipeline of 64.4GW. The USA was third with 40.5GW.
The toal global pipeline stands at 413GW, the research found. Pipelines include projects at all stages of planning – including early development – so it cannot be assumed that all planned capacity will be built.
RenewableUK published its Offshore Wind Project Intelligence report at the start of its Global Offshore Wind conference and exhibition in London today (29 September).
CEO Dan McGrail said: “This record year of over £900m of investment in major British offshore wind manufacturing plants shows that the 2020s is the decade of delivery for the UK’s offshore wind sector. The offshore wind industry is making good on its commitments to create tens of thousands of jobs and attract billions in investment in state-of-the-art factories around the country. 26,000 people already work in this sector and that’s set to increase to 69,000 over the next five years.
“The government is playing an important role in securing supply chain investment by providing strategic funding support to deliver the green economic recovery this country needs."
Join IMechE and Professional Engineering at THE virtual fair for early engineering careers and find your perfect job! Register for EngRec 2021 FREE today.
Content published by Professional Engineering does not necessarily represent the views of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.