'Floating wind superpower': New taskforce aims to make UK world leader in floating turbine technology

RenewableUK hails UK potential to make floating wind a century-defining industrial success

A new Floating Offshore Wind Task Force has been launched by trade body RenewableUK to help the UK “seize world leadership” in the innovative technologies that underpin floating wind farm developments.

Bringing together industry leaders, senior government officials, and other key stakeholders, the new body will aim to ensure the UK stays at the forefront of the nascent floating offshore wind industry, in the process creating thousands of new jobs and attracting billions of pounds in private investment.

“The Floating Offshore Wind Task Force will lay the groundwork for the UK to become a floating wind superpower in the decades ahead,” said RenewableUK’s CEO Dan McGrail. “It will provide clarity on the strategic investments the UK needs to scale up and deliver a whole new industry, creating thousands of new jobs and revitalizing ports and coastal communities around the country. We have the potential to make floating wind a century-defining industrial success story for the UK”.

RenewableUK and the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult have worked with the UK, Scottish, and Welsh governments to set up the taskforce, which will also include developing leading companies who are operating and floating wind projects around the UK, as well as senior representatives from the UK and devolved governments and key stakeholder organizations such as The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland.

The UK has the largest floating wind power pipeline in the world at over 26GW with two projects already generating power in Scottish waters in the form of Hywind and Kincardine. RenewableUK wants the new body to aid the UK in maximizing the benefits of this burgeoning industry by capturing significant market share and exporting UK technology and expertise around the world.

“The UK is poised to lead the world in floating offshore wind, building on our proud maritime and engineering traditions,” said Energy Minister Greg Hands. “This new taskforce will help power us into the future, making the most of our seas to generate clean, affordable, homegrown electricity.”

The initial remit of the Task Force will be to define the scale of the economic opportunity for the industry and produce a comprehensive report on how to maximise opportunities as the sector expands.

The first stage of the report, to be completed this autumn, will analyze how fast new capacity can be built in UK waters and quantify the potential investment needed in UK ports and infrastructure to meet this demand. The initial part of the report will then be followed by a more detailed series of policy recommendations next spring.

Last month, the government launched a £160m funding program to support its goal of delivering up to 5GW of floating offshore wind capacity in the UK by the end of the decade, alongside the announcement of a new industry ‘champion’ to spearhead the scaling up of the cutting-edge technology.

Advocates of floating wind turbine technologies maintaining the sector has huge potential to further reduce the cost of offshore wind power by opening up deeper water areas with more reliable winds for development and removing the need for costly turbine foundations.

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