Top voices in Humber's offshore wind industry react to sector deal

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 7 Mar 2019

Leading voices supporting the Humber’s offshore wind industry have welcomed the unveiling of the government’s sector deal.

The new deal, announced this morning, paves the way for renewable energy companies to invest up to £48bn in offshore wind over the next decade, as the UK targets 30GW of clean electricity to be produced by 2030.

Mark O’Reilly, chief executive at Team Humber Marine Alliance, said the sector deal would “enable the Humber to cement its position as a global centre of excellence in offshore wind”.

He said: “This sector deal is brilliant news for the Humber. It will unlock enormous investment in the supply chain and will be a huge boon to the region’s well-established offshore wind supply chain organisations…

“With the Humber having already established itself as an advanced offshore wind cluster along with our proximity to the North Sea and European offshore wind farms, we are uniquely placed to capitalise on the immense opportunities which will arise as a result of the sector deal, creating even more jobs and economic wealth for the region.

The first monopile installed at Hornsea Project One

“The Humber provides a rich source of accredited suppliers already working with leading offshore renewable energy companies.”

The sector deal set out plans to triple the number of highly-skilled workers in the offshore wind industry to 27,000 by 2030.

Read more: Offshore Wind Sector Deal to deliver MORE for the Energy Estuary

It also aims to increase the number of women working in the sector, from 16 per cent to at least 33 per cent.

The Humber’s offshore wind sector was highlighted in the deal as a priority for the UK’s ambitions to produce 70 per cent its electricity needs from low-carbon sources.

Hornsea One will be the world's biggest offshore wind farm (Liverpool Echo)

Mr O’Reilly said: “Team Humber Marine Alliance has been at the forefront of building an advanced offshore wind supply chain for over 10 years.

“With strong industry support and close collaboration with partner organisations along with effective supply chain development programmes we have helped enable the cluster to compete on a national and international scale.

Read more: How the Humber's two biggest names in offshore wind see the Sector Deal

“The sector deal will enable the Humber to cement its position a global centre of excellence in offshore wind.”

Andy Goudie is chair of Grimsby Renewables Partnership, and it was at the public-private member organisation’s conference a month ago that executive director of RenewableUK, Emma Pinchbeck, revealed a deal had been struck to a 300-strong town audience, as reported.

Andy Goudie, pictured left, at the Grimsby Renewables Partnership’s 2019 conference

He said: “The Sector Deal demonstrates the confidence in the East Coast to deliver a third of UK energy, with a long term transformational investment programme and investment through our ports and into our communities.  What other industry gets a roadmap as far ahead as 2030?  It is exciting.

“Grimsby is brilliantly placed to become that operations and maintenance hub, with a rich industrial heritage and local businesses who are keen to connect to these opportunities. I am keen to see this investment, and conditions under the licenses trickle down, so that it energises our local economy.”

Read more: Lord Prescott says the Humber is poised to be at heart of 'next industrial revolution'

Huub den Rooijen, director of energy, minerals and infrastructure at The Crown Estate, who once described Grimsby as being the “poster child of offshore wind industrialisation”, with the Humber providing immediate access to the “best offshore wind real estate in the world,” said: “This announcement recognises the extraordinary role for offshore wind as part of our nation’s clean energy future. As managers of the seabed, we’re focused on working in partnership with Government, stakeholders and the sector to facilitate a sustainable pipeline of new projects out to 2030 and beyond.”

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