EuropeOffshore Wind

UK maritime welcomes Johnson’s wind power initiative

The UK’s maritime sector has applauded prime minister Boris Johnson’s ambitious plans to develop a huge swathe of new offshore wind farms over the next decade.

Offshore wind farms will generate enough electricity to power every home in the UK within a decade, the prime minister said yesterday.

Speaking to the Conservative party conference, Johnson announced £160m to upgrade ports and factories for building turbines to help the country “build back greener”.

Johnson claimed in the UK would become “the world leader in clean wind energy”.

“Your kettle, your washing machine, your cooker, your heating, your plug-in electric vehicle – the whole lot of them will get their juice cleanly and without guilt from the breezes that blow around these islands,” he said.

Reacting to the news, UK Chamber of Shipping chief executive Bob Sanguinetti said: “As an island nation we are well placed to reap the benefits of offshore wind development, and become a leading exporter of this high technology industry.”

On LinkedIn, Sanguinetti added that the prime minister must go further with his green drive.

“Creating high tech jobs ashore and at sea, this must be accompanied by sustained investment to develop the green technology to power the UK based vessels that will install and service the wind farms, and much more widely across all sectors of UK shipping, to meet our #netzero #renewables #energy #shipping targets,” Sanguinetti wrote.

The British Ports Association has called for enforced UK content rules for offshore wind development to help realise the wider benefits.

The British Ports Association’s chairman and chief executive of Port of Blyth, Martin Lawlor said: “The UK has a huge marine and offshore wind resource. The aim to generate 30% of the UK’s electricity under the Offshore Wind Sector Deal is welcome and ports are keen to play a central role.

“However the UK needs to focus further on delivering more UK content in new wind farm developments. Unless this becomes more mandatory, the UK may well lead the world in offshore wind development but sadly the benefits will continue to be enjoyed largely by our European neighbours and countries further afield.”

The government’s Offshore Wind Sector Deal includes an aspiration to increase UK content to 60% by 2030 covering everything from planning, manufacture, mobilisation, installation and skills development in the delivery of projects.

Commenting on the new green deal, Leo Hambro, co-founder of Tidal Transit, a British firm involved in wind farm crew transfer and survey boats for the North Sea, told Splash that the plan would require new vessels of all types to be built to deliver this growth. The UK news follows on from huge demand for wind power maritime infrastructure in Europe, Asia and the US.

“It’s a boom time for shipbuilders but the offshore wind clients will be looking for zero emission solutions,” Hambro said.

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Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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