The UK has set an ambitious goal to deploy up to 50 GW of offshore wind by 2030, with a significant emphasis on floating wind, targeting up to 5 GW. Recent leasing and offtake rounds have further solidified the UK's position as the strongest offshore wind market in Europe.
The British Cluster NOF/Energi Coast and Norwegian Offshore Wind are dedicated to developing a resilient offshore wind supply chain. They have established a strong partnership connecting the supply chains of both nations, as showcased during the NOF's "Offshore Wind North East 2023" conference in Sunderland.
In the 2022 ScotWind leasing round, 20 projects secured seabed option agreements, signaling a growing demand for offshore wind components and services, thus driving the supply chain.
The March 2023 INTOG leasing round added 13 projects to the pipeline, increasing the need for supply chain support. Norwegian Offshore Wind has been active in the UK market in 2023, engaging in activities such as Visit NOWs, hosting webinars, and participating in the Offshore Wind North East. The Norwegian supply chain already demonstrates a strong presence in the UK market, as exemplified by their involvement in the Dogger Bank A project, located near Sunderland.
Allocation Round 4 witnessed the achievement of a record low strike price of £37.30/MWh for 7 GW of fixed offshore wind projects, a development that bodes well for the supply chain, potentially leading to increased production and service demand.
Tor Arne Johnsen, EU advisor in Norwegian Offshore Wind, highlights the partnership's role in enhancing opportunities for Norwegian companies in the North East of the UK, promoting collaboration with the local supply chain.
Nonetheless, in 2023, two projects from Allocation Round 4, Nordfolk Boreas (1,400 MW, Vattenfall), and Inch Cape (1,080 MW, ESB, SIDIC), were temporarily put on hold due to cost concerns. Additionally, Ørsted has emphasised the need for improved framework conditions for Hornsea 3 (2,852 MW) while maintaining its commitment to a Final Investment Decision (FID). Stable project development is essential for sustaining the offshore wind supply chain's growth and stability.