Floating Offshore Wind could be transformative for Aberavon but for that to happen local content must be a priority and we need UK government backing.
I called on the UK government to:
- Press the Crown Estate to ensure its leasing criteria maximises local content
- Support floating offshore wind through the FLOWMIS programme, a £160 million scheme designed to encourage UK investment in floating offshore wind port infrastructure.
The Minister didn’t answer on FLOWMIS, we need the UK govt to commit 100% to the FLOWMIS programme.
Stephen Kinnock: What fiscal steps he plans to take with Cabinet colleagues to support the development of floating offshore wind.
The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury: We are committed to developing floating offshore wind to support our energy security and net zero ambitions. The contracts for difference scheme has already supported the first-of-its-kind TwinHub project off the coast of Cornwall, which will deliver enough energy to power 45,000 homes. The floating offshore wind demonstration programme provided £31 million in grant funding to support many other new innovative projects.
Stephen Kinnock: Floating offshore wind has the potential to transform the economy and jobs market in my Aberavon constituency and across south Wales, but it will only happen if floating offshore wind substructures and other components are manufactured and assembled locally. There are two concerns: first, the Crown Estate is putting in place leasing criteria that seem to be about the highest bidder rather than maximising local value and content, and secondly, there are rumours flying around that the Government may be cancelling the floating offshore wind manufacturing investment scheme, which will be fundamental to facilitating the whole programme. Will the Minister confirm that he will urge Crown Estates to maximise local content in the criteria and that the Government are 100% committed to the FLOWMIS programme?
James Cartlidge: The hon. Gentleman is a staunch campaigner for his constituency’s ability to take advantage of this exciting new technology, and I pay tribute to him for that. As he knows, the Crown Estate works independently to manage the seabed and has an important role in the deployment of floating offshore wind. Its approach for the 4 GW leasing opportunity in the Celtic sea is focused on ensuring the development of this new technology market in the UK as quickly as possible. But, to be clear—cutting to his point about content—the Crown Estate has announced that for the first time it is reforming the tender process to consider supply chain plans, sending a clear signal to the market that UK content is important.