At the Global Offshore Wind conference in London last week, I was reminded that we as a team now have so much history under our belts, having been at the heart of the world’s most successful offshore wind market for over 15 years.

On one panel session, I was asked to give my personal reflections about what has helped the UK grow such a successful industry. I thought I’d share what I said:

  1.  Government provided clear long-term vision and what it needed from industry in return. The vision included mid-term volume and long-term logic for implementing such volume. It also evolved over time, through new agreements with industry.
  2.  Industry spoke with a shared voice – about what it needed from Government.
  3. Industry shared its vision about what was most important in reducing LCOE and creating local value; Government provided practical & financial support to enable these.
  4.  There has been a good balance of competition to drive behaviour and collaboration to bring new thinking.
  5.  Strong, bankable legal frameworks and regulations covering leasing, consenting, PPAs and health and safety have given much confidence.

Key points made by others on the panel were willingness to accept foreign investment and transparency in competitive processes – I agree with these wholeheartedly.

It’s been a hard journey, and sometimes we can focus on the delays and the disappointments, but the undeniable truth is that offshore wind in the UK has been an amazing success. The challenge now, for the good of the planet, is to translate that globally.


Bruce Valpy