Floating Offshore Wind (FLOW) is a fast-growing sector worldwide and the UK government has committed the UK to reaching 40GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030. Floating offshore wind can be deployed in deeper waters where wind resource is higher and is not constrained by the need for fixed bottom foundations.
The UK is already the European leader in offshore wind with 9.5 GW of installed capacity at the end of 2019. Building on this unique FLOW can help Britain unlock the potential of the deep sea. As 80% of the wind resources offshore are in waters deeper than 40m, FLOW will be a game changer.
A recent joint report by the Cornwall & IOS Local Enterprise Partnership and the Welsh Government identified that new floating offshore wind farms in the Celtic Sea could support up to 3,200 jobs in the South West and Wales, with a £682m spend in the local supply chain by 2030. The momentum in the FLOW sector provides unique opportunity for innovative offshore renewable and marine tech businesses in Cornwall.
The Celtic Sea is one of only two UK locations where floating offshore wind turbines will be deployed at scale, the other being Scotland. Three separate floating wind sites are already in development in the Celtic Sea, with Wave Hub off the Cornish coast and two off the coast of West Wales. And these are likely to be followed by more from the mid-2020s as FLOW plays its part in delivering the additional 10GW of offshore wind that the British Government committed to in early 2020.
The political will, investor appetite and regulatory requirements are all aligning with the first 120MW+ floating offshore wind developments already in planning. Now there are opportunities for a new supply chain to emerge as innovative businesses respond to the industrialisation requirements of this technology. There is the prospect of developing first mover advantage, bringing new products, services and systems to a global offshore wind market estimated to reach 95GW by 2030 and floating offshore wind projected to reach 100GW by 2050.
As a member of the Celtic Sea Cluster, Wave Hub is playing a vital role in helping to deliver the industrialisation of this exciting new technology.