Another week, another report.
This one, the latest research from the Institute of Public Policy Research, claims that unless there is a significant upscale in ambition, then UK offshore wind will not deliver a fraction of the economic benefits that are possible.
The arguments are largely ones we’ve heard before – a lack of a 2030 decarbonisation target and UK Government opposition to a European 2030 clean energy goal, mean that investment in the sector will stall, ultimately threatening the long term future of the industry.
The report also criticises governmental failure in securing turbine manufacturers in setting up shop in the UK.
The institute claims that at least two manufacturers are required in order for the country to see wider economic benefits in the supply chain.
On the last point, it could probably be argued ‘yes’ and ‘no’. There are other overseas manufacturers from other industries in the UK that still ship in components from overseas, just as much as there are those that are happy to use a local supply chain.
And we know that firmer targets would of course help with the investment case. But merely repeating the mantra ad infinitum won’t make it so.
There is also always a danger of talking down an industry.
It may not fit the profile that many would wish, but at the same time, there are a number of firms that are gearing up behind the scenes to get involved in offshore wind and are positive as to the opportunities it offers.
Conflating clean energy deployment with economic benefit in a time austerity was never going to be an easy task, but with developments such as Triton Knoll being given the go-ahead this week, there is a slow, but sure, momentum driving the industry forwards.
Four Republican congressmen have called for a halt to US offshore wind projects because of unsubstantiated claims blaming the industry for whale deaths. But this obvious misinformation can still be a threat for the growth of the industry.