Westminster ‘must act’ to gain benefits from Celtic Sea floating wind for Wales and UK

“Floating offshore wind represents a once-in-a-generation industrial opportunity for Wales – we cannot afford to let this pass us by,” said Welsh Affairs Committee Chair, Rt Hon Stephen Crabb MP. He was launching a report by the Welsh Affairs Committee which says floating offshore wind could represent the single biggest investment opportunity in Wales for decades but warns that action is needed to take advantage of the opportunity.
The Committee found that local supply chains did not benefit enough from fixed-bottom offshore wind. To take advantage of floating wind in the Celtic Sea developers and port operators need long-term targets and a clear pipeline of projects to unlock investment. Consenting bodies must be staffed and resourced to meet the significant increase in applications and local supply chain plans must be more ambitious – and checked for delivery.
The committee recommends the UK Government sets out a clear timeline for the allocation of funding under the Floating Offshore Wind Manufacturing and Investment Scheme (FLOWMIS) and commits to ensuring Welsh ports receive at least half of available funding.
It also wants the floating wind pipeline to be clear to National Grid ESO so the system operator can make strategic plans for network reinforcements for it and for potential associated hydrogen production and use.
Crabb said, “Wales will have a key role in helping the UK to reach its target of 5GW of floating offshore wind by 2030. Our Committee was told that floating offshore wind in the Celtic Sea could bring £20 billion of direct investment into the domestic market. Some of the world’s largest energy companies are already drawing up Celtic Sea investment plans.
“The challenge is to ensure that floating offshore wind creates real long-term economic value for Wales. Ports like Milford Haven and Port Talbot are ideally situated to become hubs for manufacturing and operations, and firms like Tata Steel could form part of a strong Welsh supply chain. Achieving this will require a clear strategy from Government and the Crown Estate to prioritise domestic content and ensure developers meet their commitments.”
See the full report here