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Call to make UK wind turbine industry part of industrial strategy

Sir Michael Fallon is calling on the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to set a target of all offshore wind turbines containing at least 60pc British content, a rise of 10 percentage points on current levels.
The former energy minister believes that the growing importance of green energy should be reflected in the UK’s industrial strategy.
Writing to Greg Clark, the Business Secretary, Mr Fallon said the UK is facing a “pivotal moment for offshore wind” – adding that strengthening domestic manufacturers could make Britain a leading player in a fast-growing global industry.
The current target of 50pc UK content is close to being met by some wind farm developers, and Sir Michael now wants the target to be hiked to ensure that more of the ?550m earmarked to be spent on turbines by 2025 goes to British companies.
Call to make UK wind turbine industry part of industrial strategy

Britain is increasing the amount of energy it derives from renewable sources

Credit:
Keith Arkins
“The huge investment to date has repaid the confidence shown by the Government in its future over the last six years,” Sir Michael said. “But some of that investment has gone to European companies with no consequent impact on UK skills and productivity.
“The priority now must be to ensure that more of this investment leads to the bigger prize, a genuinely competitive UK industry that can help build the wind farms now being envisaged in the Indian Ocean, the Sea of Japan and off the north eastern US seaboard.”
He now wants the Government to come up with a “sector deal” that sets out priorities and support for companies building wind turbines and their components. This would be similar to the plans that the Government has ­already come up with for the pharmaceutical, automotive and creative industries. In a report titled “Winning Locally, Going Global” commissioned by Tees Valley-based offshore energy business Wilton Engineering Group, which consulted with the specialist UK offshore wind supply chain, Sir Michael made a series of recommendations aimed at strengthening the industry.
These include: more transparent ­reporting of UK content, showing added value in both jobs and skills; fixed auction dates to allow better ­planning by companies; and financial support from UK Export Finance and the UK Business Bank.
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