UK ‘won’t meet offshore wind targets till 2048’, think tank warns

The UK’s manufacturing of wind turbines needs to be significantly ramped up to meet demand, a report by think tank IPPR has found.

At the current pace of installation the UK will miss its 2030 targets for off shore wind by 18 years.

The think tank’s report is calling for the UK to triple the rate of wind farm installation to ensure it can “get on track”.

It warns that the UK is falling behind Europe in terms of manufacturing for every major component of wind turbines, including nacelles, blades, towers, foundations and cables.

Currently the UK does not have any manufacturing facility for nacelles or host “any major player specialised in wind towers".

Recommendations include ensuring developers have long term contracts.

Businesses across the wind farm manufacturing sector need to be supported through targeted grants and joint public and private investment.

In addition, infrastructure needs to be upgraded by renovating ports and ships to ensure they can deliver and install large off shore wind farms.

If the UK had invested in wind farm manufacturing to the same extent as the leading European countries in this sector, Denmark, Germany and Spain, it would have generated an additional £30bn to the economy between 2003 and 2022, says the IPPR.

“The UK has missed out from becoming a world leader not just in wind power, but also in wind manufacturing,” said IPPR associate fellow Simone Gasperin.

“This has cost thousands of jobs, billions for the economy, and is putting future net zero targets for wind deployment at risk.

“However, the UK is uniquely placed to become a world leader in manufacturing equipment for offshore wind farms. The government should grasp this opportunity with both hands and do all it can to maximise the manufacturing opportunity of its offshore wind power targets.’’

Renewable UK head of supply chain Ajai Ahluwalia added: “The IPPR's report highlights the extraordinary opportunity that the UK has to land hundreds of millions of pounds of new investment in offshore wind manufacturing."

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