Review of Opportunities and Barriers of UK’s Offshore Wind Supply Chain Launched

In yesterday’s speech by the Secretary of State Ed Davey MP at the Renewable UK event, there was an announcement regarding the findings of the “Chinn Review” led by the Siemens energy businesses in the UK. 

In July, Energy Minister Michael Fallon MP announced a review of the UK’s offshore wind supply chain, saying “overall UK content in our offshore wind farms can be, and should be, much higher – especially in capital expenditure”.

The review has identified further opportunities within the UK supply chain and examined how industry and Government can work to ensure that these become a reality.

The Industry-Government working group was led by Matthew Chinn and a number of senior directors at the Siemens energy businesses, including Head of Strategy and Government Affairs Matthew Knight.

The report is based on publicly available literature, plus 42 interviews and responses from across the industry. Its main very top line findings are:

  • The UK along with a small number of other countries needs the offshore wind industry to be successful to compete in a low carbon world. These countries need to work together to deliver a successful industry.
  • To date the industrial benefits of the industry have not been fairly shared among these countries and it is in the interests of all that this becomes more balanced. 
  • Clarity and scale of the market are the most significant factor for supply chain investment. The UK government needs to give a consistent message on its ambition for the industry, including setting a 2030 decarbonisation target. 
  • The UK has some examples of successful local supply chains, including offshore substations. The greatest opportunity for more UK content comes from small number of items, such as tower manufacture.
  • There is potential for consolidation among developers in the industry which would help engagement with supply chain  
  • Cooperation among key parts of the supply chain would help overcome some issues faced by new entrants 
  • Commercial arrangements including bonds, credit guarantees and some CfD terms should be changed to better share key risks and to level the playing field for potential suppliers.

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Press release; Image: Siemens (Illustration)