By Hannah Webb, Trade Officer for Offshore Wind and Clean Energy, UK Department for International Trade
The Offshore Wind industry (OSW) in the US is thriving and, while nascent, the expectation is that it will continue to grow into one of the largest in the world. The US has seen significant progress in 2021 alone with support from President Biden’s administration setting a goal to deploy 30 GW of offshore wind by 2030, committing to review at least 16 offshore wind project plans by 2025, and providing $230 million for port infrastructure improvements.
The East Coast leads the way with the only existing wind farm at Block Island, two turbines in the water at Virginia Coast, and a record of decision approving the development of Vineyard Wind as the first industrial size wind farm. The West Coast and Gulf of Mexico are making progress in OSW as well with BOEM announcing several steps towards California leasing site approval this month. New announcements are made weekly and taking action on massive opportunities in supply chain mapping, inclusive workforce development, and increasing port capabilities will be key to building a prosperous industry.
The UK Department for International Trade, seeing the significant opportunity in the US market, created the Trade Officer for OSW and Clean Energy position in early 2021. Hannah Webb, with ten years trade development experience across a number of industries, has taken on the role and is working to build the connections between US and UK stakeholders in the sector.
In particular, Hannah’s role focuses on supporting companies headquartered in the Northern Powerhouse- the UK government’s vision for a super-connected, globally-competitive northern economy. The OSW expertise in the region is unparalleled around the world as the UK leads the way building the largest OSW wind farm currently planned- Doggar Bank Wind Farm. The wider OSW supply chain consists of expertise in areas such as operations & maintenance, cabling, project development, electrical infrastructure, installation & commissioning. The knowledge, services, and technology in these areas has huge potential for export to the US market.
The British Consulate-General Boston has been active in the OSW sector organizing informational webinars, making introductions between potential partners, hosting roundtable discussions, and conducting a market review with the Xodus Group. The Xodus Group has examined the OSW market in the US and identified areas where UK companies can contribute skills and learnings from their own experience in building wind farms across the UK and Europe.
Xodus Head of Strategy & Marketing, Jeff Tingley says “Europe is about 30 years ahead of the US in OSW and the US market needs to catch up in the next 10 years. Partnerships with UK stakeholders and supply chain will be crucial to that success and timely development.”
If interested in learning more about the US OSW industry and their work with the Xodus Group, please contact the British Consulate-General Boston.