Maidstone Kent, 30 January 2018: The UK has the most economically attractive offshore wind resources in Europe and could expand its offshore wind capacity to almost five times its current level by 2030 . With the global expenditure on offshore wind expected to reach £108 billion between 2018 and 2022, offshore wind represents a large and growing market for Kent based companies.
Kent is ideally placed to capture a significant share of the offshore wind opportunities. There are 8 UK wind farms in operation or in development relatively close to the Kent coast, including the world’s largest operating wind farm, London Array in the Thames Estuary. Kent’s advantages go well beyond its geographical proximity to offshore wind developments. Kent is also home to a number of businesses, of all sizes, that can provide the products, services and skills that are essential for successful wind farm development and operation. Several major owners, including Vattenfall and London Array Limited are already playing an active role in developing a Kent-based supply chain.
“Offshore wind represents a huge potential market for Kent business ” said Mark Dance Cabinet Member for Economic Development of Kent County Council. “As well as a large and growing domestic market, the global growth of offshore wind opens up great export opportunities for those able to demonstrate the ability to service the offshore wind market.”
The nature of the offshore wind supply chain means that there are many opportunities for smaller companies. Owners and their direct suppliers often look to smaller companies to provide local or specialist services. Unfortunately, many small firms struggle with understanding the offshore wind market and don’t know how to engage with potential clients.
“Too often, small firms dismiss the offshore wind opportunity as too complicated or too difficult,” said Mark Dance “That is why we’ve developed a range of tools to help understand and connect to the major players in the market”
As part of the Inn2POWER consortium, Kent County Council offers businesses a range of practical support to win business in the offshore wind market.
Key to Kent’s efforts is the Kent Wind Energy portal . This online directory and information resource supports local supply chain development and puts offshore wind owners in touch with local businesses. The simple-to-use directory, allows buyers to search for services across the offshore wind supply chain, including project development, equipment design and manufacture, construction and operation, as well as more general support such as accommodation, recruitment and office supplies. Developed in partnership with leading offshore wind companies, the portal is completely free to use.
Businesses can also get one-to-one business support, help in applying for funding for match funded grants and accessing funding programmes. This includes assistance in attending trade shows such as the Belgium Offshore Days in Ostend, on 21 and 22 March 2018.
“Businesses in Kent should definitely make getting involved in offshore wind one of their New Year’s Resolutions,” said Mark Dance “And registering on the Kent Wind Energy Portal will make at least one resolution that is easy (and profitable!) to stick too!”
About Inn2POWER: Inn2POWER is a project co-funded by the North Sea Region Programme 2014 – 2020. Inn2POWER is a four-year Interreg project of eleven partners from the five leading offshore wind clusters in the North Sea Region – Denmark, United Kindom, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. The aim is to expand the capacity for innovation and to improve access to the offshore wind industry for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by connecting offshore wind businesses in the North Sea Region.
About Kentwindenergy: Kentwindenergy.co.uk is a local network, online directory and information resource that supports local supply chain development and puts offshore wind farm developers in touch with local businesses. The simple-to-use directory allows people to search by category or company for services covering project development, equipment design and manufacture, construction and operation, as well as more general support such as accommodation, recruitment and office supplies. Developed in partnership with leading offshore wind companies, kentwindenergy.co.uk is completely FREE to sign up to and already has more than 415 local companies registered. You can register your business easily by simply following the link on the directory pages.