Exponential growth seems on the horizon. It is estimated around 20,000 turbines are needed by 2050 to meet the global target of 300GW, and the UK target for 2030 requires a five-fold increase of current capacity to 50GW, with 5GW to come from floating wind. But there remain challenges. Larger projects require port infrastructure and supply chain development and expansion to avoid bottlenecks and control manufacturing costs. Wide-ranging obstacles exist, from the manufacturing of component parts to vessel availability for installation. Most pressingly for the UK, current industrial capacity falls short of this anticipated demand and without investment, projects will be reliant on foreign manufacturing, particularly of foundations (both fixed and floating), with the attendant increases in costs and risks in their transport. An opportunity also risks being missed for the UK to become a global leader in terms of expertise and capability.
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This article was first published in Energy Voice.