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Foundation innovation key Offshore Wind Sector Deal targets

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has hailed the offshore wind sector as a UK success story as it announced new growth targets as part of a new Offshore Wind Sector Deal.

The BEIS report on the new deal said that the UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind in the world and costs have fallen faster than anyone could have envisaged 10 years ago.

The deal sets out plans for the UK to increase installed offshore wind power from 7.GW today to 30GW by 2030 and an increase in research and development by £7bn by 2022 to further drive down the costs.

According to the report, innovations such as floating foundations will be essential to make it feasible to meet the growth expectations of the deal.

The report states that it will be necessary “to deploy offshore wind in deeper waters around the world which are currently inaccessible to fixed bottom foundations”.

Andrew Jamieson, CEO of ORE Catapult, the UK’s leading technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, said: “Innovation has been at the heart of the UK’s tremendous success story to date in offshore wind and it will be vital in developing a strong, indigenous supply chain in areas such as robotics and artificial intelligence, digitalisation and enhanced operations and maintenance to capitalise on the global growth of the sector.”

Many energy providers and the construction supply chain have also welcomed the deal and the growth it will bring.

Ørsted UK managing director Matthew Wright said: “The Sector Deal marks the coming of age of offshore wind as both a significant part of the UK’s energy transformation and an industrial powerhouse driving economic growth.

“We should see the offshore wind industry as a huge UK success story. Costs have been driven down dramatically so that offshore wind is now competitive with conventional forms of energy generation, and at the same time the sector has delivered jobs, investment and growth across northern towns and cities.”

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