Government cash is needed to help the UK’s “home-grown” offshore wind industry to help reduce costs, according to a research report.
Costs of creating offshore wind farms have risen sharply in the past few years.
When the technology first came on the scene 10 years ago, it was said by many in the industry that the cost of wind farm-building and generating electricity would be reduced over time. But about 80% of the components used to build an offshore wind farm come from abroad, the UK Energy Research Centre said.
Its report called for support on establishing a more efficient supply chain and better innovation.
The industry has been at the mercy of commodity price increases, fluctuations in currencies and supply-chain shortages and bottlenecks, as well as delays in the planning system which sees the average wind farm take seven to nine years to get up and running.
The report’s chief author, Robert Gross, said: “The UK is not yet fully benefiting from being a world leader in the field; in effect UK consumers are subsidising Danish and German wind energy companies. This report suggests that policies could do more both to bear down on costs and support a UK-based industry.”