Thanks to huge investment in Liverpool Bay by Ørsted, Liverpool city region has become a genuine hub of offshore wind expertise.
Offshore wind is one of the most innovate and fast-changing industrial sectors and Merseyside firms within the sector now have access to the UK’s leading offshore renewable energy technology resource to help them grow and develop even further.
Catapults are a network of elite technology, innovation and research centres established by Innovate UK as a long-term investment in the UK’s economic capability.
Applying business-led research, the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult helps businesses transform great ideas into products and services and help the UK meets its ambitious carbon reduction targets.
Offshore wind capacity in the UK currently stands at 9GW and the sector has ambitions to grow this to 30GW by 2030.
Ørsted’s Burbo Bank and Burbo Bank extension in Liverpool Bay contribute 348MW to the current total. It comprises 57 turbines, with 25 3.6MW turbines coming online in 2007 and and further 32 8MW turbines installed in 2017.
ORE Catapult has joined Mersey Maritime in the last few months and has two key aims – to offer Liverpool city region firms access to its world-leading expertise and facilities and to highlight the “fantastic opportunities” for business growth in the offshore wind sector in the coming decade and beyond.
Stuart Barnes from ORE Catapult said: “With a UK offshore wind market expected to be worth £4.9 billion annually by 2030, and £30 billion globally, this represents a huge business opportunity for UK companies to reap the rewards domestically and in new global export markets, creating GVA and high value jobs across the country. We want to get the message out to firms across the Liverpool city region that they are well positioned to take advantage of these opportunities.”
The organisation, which aims to be the world’s leading offshore renewable energy technology centre by 2023, employs around 170 people across the UK helping deliver high value business support projects in collaboration with businesses large and small.
It recognises that innovation in new technology is key to business growth. Through its world-leading test and demonstration facilities and industrial and academic partnerships, such as the O&M Centre of Excellence in collaboration with the University of Hull, the Catapult supports the commercialisation of new products and services.
Mr Barnes added: “We are looking to work with companies and organisations in the Liverpool city region and we are always looking for new innovations and ways of working that can help drive down costs in the offshore wind sector.
“The UK has a strong maritime history with significant expertise in sectors such as oil and gas, aerospace, robotics and data and digital and we can exploit that expertise to boost the offshore wind sector.
“The key message here is the fantastic opportunities for growth and job creation in offshore wind over the next few years and we want to help Merseyside companies get a slice of that market.”