The Crown Estate announcements on 8th January 2010 regarding the programme for delivering offshore projects in the UK represents considerable economic opportunities both for the UK, on both a national and regional basis.
Development work must be local and, by working in partnership with local communities, consultants, utilities, contractors and suppliers, we will deliver the best renewable power plant for the UK. A local presence is fundamental, and local people with the necessary knowledge are vital.
2. Industry and port redevelopment
Proximity to significant estuaries and local port infrastructure is a key benefit for delivery. Regional estuaries contain several ports that could not only be used for construction and long-term operation & maintenance, but could form the cornerstone of significant UK manufacturing export-clusters.
Activity should be focused on developing manufacturing SuperClusters, consisting of material and component suppliers, with deep water port access, as well as universities and research institutions with tailored R&D and education. Within the wind industry, examples of such clusters already exist in northern Germany, Denmark and Spain. To maximise the potential of the offshore wind industry to the UK it is essential that at least one cluster is established on the east coast of the UK.
Numerous local manufacturing and service businesses have the potential to become major suppliers to the offshore wind industry.
5. Research collaboration opportunities
Between regional academic institutes and supply chain companies on technology development, demonstration and deployment.