UK energy minister launches offshore wind initiative

Michael Fallon, the UK’s energy minister launched the Offshore Wind Investment Organisation in Manchester on Wednesday in a bid to boost the level of investment for the offshore wind power industry.

The organisation is one of the recommendations of the forthcoming industrial strategy and will be headed by a "senior industry figure". 

Fallon told the Renewable UK's Offshore Wind 2013 conference in Manchester that OWIO "will be an important part of our industrial strategy for the sector".

  The news came in the same week as Renewable UK’s chief executive Maria McCaffery highlighted that around 32 wind power component manufacturing factories needed to be built in Britain if the country was to meet its targets for offshore wind development.

  The government has also announced funding for three innovation projects as part of the Offshore Wind Components Technologies Scheme.

  The Power Cable Services, based in Kent, has been awarded £540,000 towards their high voltage subsea cable jointing technology; Aquasium Technology has been granted £769,600 towards their cost-effective fabrication project; and Wind Technologies has been given £728,355 to design, manufacture and test a 5MW medium speed drive train concept.

  Fallon said: "Through the formation of this industry-led partnership and through our support for innovation projects, we will boost the positive benefits that the offshore wind sector can bring to the UK economy."

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