The UK’s former defence secretary and energy minister, Sir Michael Fallon MP, is calling for a local content commissioner to monitor the UK content of future offshore windfarms.
Sir Michael, who was commissioned to prepare a report assessing the impact of the government’s policy towards UK local content, will share industry reaction to his report Winning Locally, Going Global at supply chain event in November.
A group of northeast of England-based energy supply chain companies have invited the former cabinet minister to report on his study into the UK offshore wind industry.
At a meeting to be held at Subsea Innovation in Darlington in November, Mr Fallon will update members of the offshore wind supply chain on the feedback and reaction to his report from industry and politicians.
In the report, which was commissioned by Wilton Engineering, Mr Fallon made a number of headline recommendations, including a new 60% target for UK content for offshore wind projects in British waters.
Sir Michael also concluded that expenditure on each windfarm development should be reported in a more transparent way that includes added-value in both jobs and local skills.
Since the report was published earlier this year, several recommendations have been progressed by government, most notably the need for a confirmed timetable for future licences and contracts for difference auction rounds, which was announced by Energy Minister Claire Perry in July.
In addition to updating invited guests on the reaction to the report and its conclusions, Sir Michael will also discuss some of the subsequent ideas from supply chain companies to bolster the UK offshore wind industry, among them his call for a local content commissioner to monitor and support UK industry in the application of the 60% target.
Energi Coast chairman and Tekmar Group chief executive James Ritchie said “Sir Michael’s report has delivered a positive impact on highlighting the issue of local content for the UK offshore wind industry and we are keen to hear his views following the recommendations he made. The event will also give Sir Michael the opportunity to hear the views of supply chain companies, which are backing his recommendations and have further suggestions that will help them be successfully implemented.”