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A report commissioned by The Crown Estate, and undertaken by BVG Associates, outlines how it expects £2 billion will be spent on manufacture of wind turbine blades, per year, by 2020.
The report explains, “With the UK expected to lead the European offshore wind market for some time, most offshore turbine manufacturers have committed to UK manufacture or are currently examining sites. In the first instance, manufacturers are likely to focus on nacelle assembly but blade manufacture is likely to be a next step for most companies. Independent blade manufacturers are also considering UK manufacture.”
The report forecasts composite material demand in Europe, in 2020, to be 100,000 tonnes from offshore wind farms and the report explains how the UK composites industry is globally competitive and has the potential to gain value from the industry.
The report outlines a number of opportunities for new suppliers and service providers to enter the offshore wind market in composites or expand their offering to the wind industry. These opportunities primarily exist in five areas:
? Component manufacture and supply
? Tooling supply and manufacturing support
? Material and subcomponent supply
? RD&D of processes and materials
? Blade inspection and repair
According to Julian Brown, Associate Director of BVG Associates, “The UK composites industry has much to offer and much to gain if it takes up the wind sector’s challenge of volume manufacture with year-on-year cost reductions. The wind industry has a need for new technologies that may be in development in parallel sectors. The high level partnership between Boeing and Vestas Wind Systems demonstrates the synergies that exist.”
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