The board brings together representatives of the offshore wind industry, government and stakeholders such as the Crown Estate. It is tasked with delivering on the five priorities of the Offshore Wind Industry Council, set up as part of the government’s wider industrial strategy.
Last year, it commissioned the cost reduction monitoring framework, which has shown that the cost of offshore wind energy has fallen by almost 11% over the past four years – ahead of schedule on its path to delivering the shared industry and UK Government target of a levelised cost of energy of £100 per megawatt hour for projects reaching final investment decision in 2020.
In addition, the OWPB has led on implementing the recommendations of the Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy and the 2014 Chinn Review of the UK Offshore Wind Supply Chain.
Recognising that offshore wind could create a new North Sea energy sector, the OWPB was a 2014 founder of the Seastar Industrial Alliance, which brings together the British, German, Danish and Dutch offshore wind industries to work together on deployment and cost reduction.
Adam Bruce, OWPB joint chairman, said: “The offshore wind sector is making very significant progress on driving down costs. We’re already ahead of schedule on cost reduction, and we’re set to achieve our target of £100 per megawatt hour by 2020.
“The OWPB is a unique organisation in the power sector, bringing industry and government together around a defined programme to deploy offshore wind.
“The UK offshore sector employs 13,000 people in full time direct or indirect jobs. Major international companies such as Siemens and MHI Vestas Offshore Wind have committed to manufacturing in the UK, heralding a further expansion of the workforce.
“And industry research shows that the number of people working in the offshore wind industry and the supply chain could treble within the next 10 years. Initiatives are already underway to develop the skill sets needed to maintain Britain’s global lead in the offshore wind sector, such as establishing a National College for Wind Energy”.
In its Annual Report, the OWPB reports on its five priorities, which are to:
- Build a sustainable, competitive and capable UK supply chain – capitalising on investments to date and the strong pipeline of UK projects now in place
- Further develop UK industrial capacity
- Demonstrate that costs are falling Create a skilled industry – developing and promoting offshore wind as a sector where skilled people can build careers, and making the most of the expertise developed to date
- Address barriers to companies bringing new innovations to the market, and to
- Attract finance into the sector, including making best use of the Green Investment Bank.