Offshore wind supply chains to be tightened as subsidies face switch-off for non compliance


Government is hardening its stance on renewable energy subsidies, with the potential to pull contracts if supply chains do not meet criteria.

Officials at BEIS are ensuring ‘more bang for the buck’, with the intention to guarantee Britain benefits economically from the support for the green recovery.

The confirmation came as the next auction round was set to start in December.

Amendments will strengthen the supply chain plan process for projects of 300MW or above entering.

It will include the assessment of a developer’s delivery of its supply chain commitments, to be brought forward to shortly after a project’s milestone delivery date and new powers for the Secretary of State to pass or refuse a supply chain implementation statement, together with the ability to terminate what is known as a Contracts for Difference.

RenewableUK’s deputy chief executive, Melanie Onn, said: “Supporting innovation and the growth of the UK’s offshore wind industry is vital to kickstart the green economic recovery.

“We’re building up a strong UK supply chain with major manufacturers locating factories here and the industry is committed to supporting globally competitive companies. Developers and supply chain firms are making significant investments to drive in the industry forward.



RenewableUK deputy chief executive Melanie Onn.
RenewableUK deputy chief executive Melanie Onn.

“The latest supply chain proposals set challenging new demands for project developers, so it’s vital that the guidance is clear on how we can demonstrate the contribution we’re making by creating thousands of jobs, developing skills and fostering innovation across the supply chain, as well as building vital new infrastructure.

“Project developers are already working with manufacturers to help them understand our projects’ needs and timelines, which will support investment in new facilities and the development of new skills in our workforce. Underpinning all this, we need large volumes of new capacity in the next CfD auction for new contracts to generate clean power to keep us on track for our 2030 target, quadrupling what we’ve already installed.”

On the Humber, Able Marine Energy Park has received a £75 million grant to bring it forward on the last undeveloped stretch of deep water estuary, with a steel monopile manufacturer about to enter the planning process.

Siemens Gamesa is also doubling its footprint, with the city confirmed to build the next generation blades, subject to planning consents.

The Tees is also seeing a new investment from General Electric, with further public backing. All are part of plans to create thuosands more jobs as installation targets are raised and timeframes accelerated.

AbleUK group development director Neil Etherington highlighted Government’s determination to do better with content at last month’s Offshore Wind Connections event.

Speaking at the Hull-hosted virtual conference, he described Siemens Gamesa’s plant as “a fantastic example of doing good stuff, big stuff, important stuff in the UK”.

“We can do much better,” he said. “That’s why the Prime Minister said ‘enough’s enough, we’re going to make the UK the Saudi Arabia of wind’ and he announced a new funding package to bring that to reality.”

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