£50 Million Boost For UK’s Offshore Renewable Sector

The British Government has confirmed that the UK-wide consortium bid from Ocean Energy Innovation, Carbon Trust and the National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec), has been selected to set up the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult, a £50 million technology innovation project funded by the Technology Strategy Board.

The centre will establish its primary location in Glasgow, alongside a number of organisations with complementary interests in the International Technology and Renewable Energy Zone (ITREZ) with the operational centre in the North East of England (Northumberland) close to Narec. It will receive up to £10 million per annum over five years (£50 million) from the Technology Strategy Board.

The new Catapult will focus on technologies applicable to offshore wind, tidal and wave power. It will also build strong links with centres of excellence, such as the European Marine Energy Centre, Wave Hub, and the recently announced marine energy park in the South West of England.

The Catapult centre will bring together knowledge, expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to help UK businesses innovate and find new ways to capture and use the power from offshore renewable energy sources. UK businesses engaging with the centre will be able to reduce the risk associated with creating profitable products and services. The centre is expected to focus on areas such as:

* establishing a sustainable supply chain for the more established offshore wind sector in the UK;

* developing capabilities in marine power (tidal and wave) that will help UK business bring new products to market and export new technologies.

The applicable global market for wind, tidal and wave is expected to exceed £64 billion by 2050. The UK is in a strong position to take a significant share of these global markets. The biggest opportunity being to help the UK to gain 12% of the established offshore wind industry, which is the largest of the three. The market share opportunity for the UK in both tidal and wave will be 15%.

“The UK’s reputation and expertise in offshore engineering, gained through many years of commercial North Sea oil activity, makes the UK an excellent base for innovation relevant to the emerging offshore renewable energy sector,  explains Iain Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board,  “The generation and supply of renewable energy is now a major component of global energy and economic policies. UK businesses have an opportunity to be a significant part in this global industry.”

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