ORE Catapult visit to the South West shines spotlight on opportunity to support UK Energy Security Strategy
Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Jamieson and Director, Strategy and Emerging Technology, Dr Stephen Wyatt, visited the South West on 11th to 13th April 2022.
ORE Catapult is a partner in Marine-i. Part funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Marine-i is designed to help the marine technology sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly grow through harnessing the full potential of research and innovation.
The ORE Catapult team met with senior stakeholders (Cornwall LEP, Cornwall Council, Heart of the South West LEP, Plymouth Council, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, The Crown Estate, Marine Energy Wales) and supply chain companies to discuss the challenges and opportunities for Floating Wind in the Celtic Sea.
Organisations and businesses that participated in the visit included Celtic Sea Power, Feritech Global, Large Diameter Drilling, A&P Group, Inyanga Tech, Reflex Marine, Morek Engineering, Hexicon and Betchel, and Simply Blue.
Over the three days, there were discussions centring around key issues such as:
- Cornwall’s aspirations for benefits from Floating Offshore Wind and the role of the Celtic Sea Cluster
- How ORE Catapult can help with the challenges facing Floating Offshore Wind in the Celtic Sea
- The opportunities for supply chain companies and the challenges facing supply chain scale and capacity
- Port readiness and capacity
- Engineering opportunities in fixed and floating wind
- Latest developments in tidal stream
- Grid connection challenges
- New opportunities for collaboration to drive development forward
The visit coincided with the UK Government publishing its Energy Security Strategy, (published 7th April 2022) designed to accelerate homegrown British power to secure greater energy independence, prompted by the Ukraine Crisis. The Strategy is extremely positive for offshore renewables, with key highlights including:
- Offshore wind: A new ambition of up to 50GW by 2030 – more than enough to power every home in the UK – of which the Government would like to see up to 5GW from floating offshore wind in deeper seas. This will be underpinned by new planning reforms to cut the approval times for new offshore wind farms from four years to one year and an overall streamlining which will radically reduce the time it takes for new projects to reach construction stages while improving the environment.
- Hydrogen: A doubling of ambition for up to 10GW of low carbon hydrogen production capacity by 2030, with at least half coming from green hydrogen and utilising excess offshore wind power to bring down costs. This will not only provide cleaner energy for vital British industries to move away from expensive fossil fuels but could also be used for cleaner power, transport and potentially heat.
- Jobs: The British Energy Security Strategy will also increase the number of clean jobs in the UK by supporting; 90,000 jobs in offshore wind by 2028 – 30,000 more than previously expected; and 12,000 jobs in the UK hydrogen industry by 2030 – 3,000 more than previously expected.
ORE Catapult with offices in Cornwall and as a partner in Marine-i is well placed in the South West to continue help playing a vital role in driving the research, technology innovation and supply chain growth programmes required to enable this strategy. Since The Crown Estate announced last year an ambition to achieve 4GW of floating wind in the Celtic Sea by 2035, Marine-i has been supporting Cornish businesses develop essential innovative technology.
Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive Officer of the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult said:
“It’s been extremely useful in getting to understand more deeply our activities and the capabilities and ambitions of clients and stakeholders in the South West. As the UK Government increases our Offshore wind ambition to 50GW by 2030, the Celtic Sea Cluster will be working with policy makers to deliver processes that enable accelerated deployment of floating wind farms in the Celtic Sea. ORE Catapult in collaboration with academic and business partners in the region need industry to step forward to work together with us to develop new innovative technology to drive down costs.”
Prof Lars Johanning, Programme Director for Marine-i, said:
“This visit has highlighted yet again the huge opportunities offered to our region by the development of Floating Offshore Wind in the Celtic Sea, and the vital importance of industry collaboration in order to grasp the full potential of this new industry. There is a wide range of world-leading marine technology innovations coming out of the South West, and the Marine-i team is proud to support our local businesses in their pioneering work.”