UK offshore wind body starts work

A UK government-industry body met for the first time today in a bid to energise the country's offshore wind sector.

The new Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) aims to put momentum behind the development of the renewable source and its supply chain, which have been named as among the cornerstones of Britain’s energy policy.

Keith Anderson, chief corporate officer of Iberdrola-owned ScottishPower and the UK’s recently-appointed business and energy minister Michael Fallon are co-chairs.

A UK offshore wind industrial strategy is due to be published in the next few months.

The UK’s coalition government has been criticised for a slow and patchy approach to providing a policy framework for the offshore wind sector, and will hope the new body can help change that perception.

“Britain has a real chance to lead the world in the offshore wind sector, not least because of our weather,” Fallon said.

“By building an enduring partnership between government and industry, we can set out a clear strategy which encourages the development of the supply chain, and delivers a strong benefit to the UK economy.”

Anderson added: “The UK continues to lead the world in offshore wind, and we need to use this position to leverage as much global investment as possible to secure jobs across the supply chain, and see infrastructure upgraded to support this industry.”

The full list of OWIC members reads like a who’s-who of the UK sector. It includes senior figures from companies including Dong, E.ON, RWE, EDPR, Siemens, Mitsubishi and Areva, along with representatives of the UK’s nations and The Crown Estate.