Department of Energy and Climate Change
Printable version E-mail this to a friend

Offshore wind expansion biggest ambition in the world

Offshore wind expansion biggest ambition in the world

News Release issued by the COI News Distribution Service on 08 January 2010

* New ‘'Round 3' rights granted in 9 UK coastal zones
* Potential for 6,400 additional turbines generating 32GW far exceeds previous plans
* £75 billion offshore wind industry could support up to 70,000 clean energy jobs by 2020
* These are high value jobs in manufacturing, research and engineering, installation, operation and services
The UK’s long term energy and climate security was strengthened substantially today as The Crown Estate, owner of the UK’s coastal seabeds, granted rights to energy companies to develop the biggest expansion of wind energy ever seen in the world.

The announcement has the potential to see an additional 32GW of clean electricity feeding into the UK grid, on top of 8GW from previous rounds. 32GW is enough offshore wind energy to supply nearly all the homes in the UK and will mean an extra 6,400 turbines. Investment in UK offshore wind overall could be worth £75 billion and support up to 70,000 jobs by 2020.

The next generation of offshore wind farms that will be developed under the licenses announced today will require larger and more efficient turbines, capable of generating 5MW of power.

It was hailed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Energy and Climate Secretary Ed Miliband, who met The Crown Estate in London today.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

"Our policies in support of offshore wind energy have already put us ahead of every other country in the world. This new round of licences provides a substantial new platform for investing in UK industrial capacity. The offshore wind industry is at the heart of the UK economy’s shift to low carbon and could be worth £75 billion and support up to 70,000 jobs by 2020. This announcement will make a significant and practical contribution to reducing our CO2 emissions and the Government will work with developers and The Crown Estate to support the growing offshore wind industry and help remove barriers to rapid development."

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said:

"Our island has one of the best wind energy resources in Europe and today’s news shows that there’s a huge appetite for capacity to be built here. We now need to make sure we’re poised to harness the potential that appetite brings for business for UK companies and new green jobs. We did it before with oil and gas in the North Sea and we’ll do it again for offshore wind."

Ministers including Ed Miliband will be jointly hosting events with The Crown Estate around the country that bring together developers and UK businesses.

Also announced today by the Government were £3 million of grants to further support the offshore wind supply chain. The Department of Energy and Climate Change and the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills will award funding to Burntisland Fabrications Ltd (£1.5m) and Tees Alliance Group Ltd (£1.5m).

Lord Drayson, Minister for Science & Innovation, said:

"These grants are part of a package of support to ensure the UK - and UK manufacturing in particular - benefits from the innovative market we are creating. The turbines we need have not been designed yet. Our goal is to encourage their design and manufacture on our shores."

"Last month, we pledged £15m for the blade testing facility at the New and Renewable Energy Centre (NaREC) and further grants will follow to support this promising industry. The UK is quite simply the place to be for wind energy: we've got the science, the engineering, the support and the weather!"

BiFab aim to set up a manufacturing facility at the Energy Park in Fife Scotland to make parts for offshore turbines, creating an additional 300 jobs in the region.

TAG will develop a production facility at their Haverton Hill Facility in Teesside, creating up to 200 jobs.

Notes for editors

1. The developers who have signed exclusivity zone agreements with The Crown Estate are:

* Moray Firth Zone, Moray Offshore Renewables Ltd which is 75% owned by EDP Renovaveis and 25% owned by SeaEnergy Renewables – 1.3 GW

* Firth of Forth Zone, SeaGreen Wind Energy Ltd equally owned by SSE Renewables and Fluor – 3.5 GW

* Dogger Bank Zone, the Forewind Consortium equally owned by each of SSE Renewables, RWE Npower Renewables, Statoil and Statkraft – 9 GW

* Hornsea Zone, Siemens Project Ventures and Mainstream Renewable Power, a consortium equally owned by Mainstream Renewable Power and Siemens Project Ventures and involving Hochtief Construction – 4 GW

* Norfolk Bank Zone, East Anglia Offshore Wind Ltd equally owned by

* Scottish Power Renewables and Vattenfall Vindkraft – 7.2 GW

* Hastings Zone, Eon Climate and Renewables UK– 0.6 GW

* West of Isle of Wight Zone, Eneco New Energy – 0.9 GW

* Bristol Channel Zone, RWE Npower Renewables, the UK subsidiary of RWE Innogy – 1.5 GW

* Irish Sea Zone, Centrica Renewable Energy and involving RES Group – 4.2 GW

2. For more information on the Round 3 announcement see The Crown Estate website (

3. 1GW of offshore wind would power around 680,000 homes. This is based on an average household consumption of 4,500KWh and an average load factor of 35%.

4. Carbon Trust figures on jobs and investment are taken from CT’s July 2009 report “Focus for success: a new approach to commercializing low carbon technologies”, p.53

5. The Department of Energy and Climate Change is central to the UK Government’s leadership on climate change. Through our UK Low Carbon Transition Plan we are giving householders and businesses the incentives and advice they need to cut their emissions, we are enabling the energy sector’s shift to the trinity of renewables, new nuclear and clean coal, and we are stepping up the fight against fuel poverty.

Detail on the grants:

TAG is pursuing the development of a world class, state of the art, automated tubular production facility for the rolling and welding of large diameter tubulars and the construction of foundations, (monopiles, tripods, jackets and transition pieces) at their Haverton Hill Facility in Teesside.

The existing TAG facilities offer developers an integrated manufacturing, marshalling, assembly and load out capability perfectly situated on the River Tees on the east coast of the UK, being very well placed for the largest planned offshore developments for the UK.

The local skill base in this type of work is second to none and this welcome development will bring much needed jobs to the region:

50 permanent direct jobs at TAG within the new facility and this could increase to 100 depending on shift patterns / workload.

In addition to that project construction work generated out of the production facility will create regular project jobs of at least another 50 and then of course there will be sub contractor and suppliers jobs created.
In summary, 50 permanent TAG production jobs, increasing to 200 when sub contractors and suppliers are included.

BiFab have a vision to create one of the best mass manufacturing facilities in Europe for the supply of Jacket sub-structures for the offshore wind sector. The BiFab strategy is to set up a manufacturing facility at the Energy Park in Fife Scotland that can deliver over 100 jacket sub-structures per year commencing 2011, making BiFab one of the key providers for offshore sub-structures covering a range of 12 Mtr to 80 Mtr water depths.

The BiFab objective is to make a serious contribution to ensuring that the UK is in a strong position to win major projects in this potentially large market, leading to the creation of thousands of highly skilled jobs as well as making a significant contribution to the Scottish economy.
* Develop a product portfolio based on existing experience and designs, but optimising these designs with reference to :
o Mass-manufacturing to ensure competitive manufacturing cost and a sustainable industry.
o Scalability so that the product would offer bespoke solutions irrespective of the depth of water and size of turbine it needs to support
* Develop in the long term fully-automated manufacturing facilities
* Develop a strong supply chain local and international.
* Continually assess skills and educational requirements. Expand on our apprentice training programmes.
* BiFab currently employ 50 apprentices operating at our Burntisland and Methil facility.

BiFab are recognised as one of the leading manufacturers in the supply of jacket substructures for the offshore wind industry we have technology and experience and most importantly a proven track record in delivering structures for the renewable industry. At present, there is a good opportunity for the UK fabrication industry to build up on its experience from Oil & Gas sector and to transfer these skills to offshore wind market securing the future of the UK fabrication industry for the next 15 to 20 years.

Department of Energy and Climate Change
3 Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2AW
Public enquiries +44 (0)300 060 4000
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740 (for those with hearing impairment)


Department of Energy and Climate Change
Phone: 0300 068 5219

Active Wellbeing 2023 is running from 1-28 February