Offshore wind (OSW) is a rapidly growing global energy source and a critical part of Australia’s clean energy transition. Australia is actively promoting its development across Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania, and Western Australia. To realise these opportunities, Australia will need support and investment from experienced market players.
The United Kingdom is the world’s second-largest OSW market, with extensive project and investment expertise. We worked with the UK Government to analyse opportunities for Australia and the UK to work together and created a report with our findings.
Our energy and supply chain specialists analysed Australia’s existing capabilities, potential gaps, and barriers to UK industry participation. The analysis aims to promote understanding and strategic development, ensuring both nations can harness the potential of this growing sector.
The report’s findings provide mutual economic opportunities for both nations in Australia’s growing offshore wind sector. To realise these opportunities, further engagement with industry stakeholders, prioritisation of infrastructure development, clear national OSW targets, and support from public organisations are crucial steps forward.
40GW projected offshore wind potential by 2040
9,300kminter-array cables forecast by 2040
2,700wind turbines forecast by 2040
Understanding gaps in Australia’s supply chain
The report takes a birds-eye view of the Australian OSW market, where analysis points to a robust demand for offshore wind with up to 40GW (30 + projects) by 2040. It evaluates the supply chain capabilities of both the UK and Australia, identifying strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for industry growth.
Our gap analysis identified notable disparities in the Australian supply chain capabilities for offshore wind (given the early nature of the market), offering a detailed comparison with the UK’s established expertise. Through this analysis, we discovered areas of potential support and opportunities to learn and benefit from cross nation collaboration.
We also identified other areas critical for localised Australian OSW development, including:
Heavy lift transport services to support the movement of OSW components.
Transport and installation services to support the market’s logistical demands, such as vessels and barges.
Offshore safety training to meet the demand for specialised training in line with global wind safety standards.
Onshore building contractors for the development, design and construction and operation support facilities.
Operations and maintenance developing vessel fleets and crew to oversee activities and enable efficient operations and maintenance of the wind farms.
“Australia has committed to net zero by 2050. Clean energy is a key element in meeting this target with offshore wind playing a major role. UK skills and experience can support the creation of a viable, vibrant, and sustainable offshore wind industry in Australia. We chose Arup for their global experience and in-depth local knowledge to deliver this report which highlights opportunities for this developing industry.”
Ian Barnett, Senior Trade Development Manager, British Consulate-General
Discovering offshore wind investment opportunities
The analysis provides organisational opportunities for the UK in the Australian market, including exporting talent with specialist skills and knowledge and joint ventures with Australian entities to foster a robust supply chain.
It also positions the UK as a potential exporter to Australia for components, including blades, inter-array cables, and future foundations and export cables. The Free Trade Agreement between Australia and the UK eliminates tariffs on offshore wind components, presenting an economic advantage for both nations.
The report underscores thorough skill sharing; the UK can significantly contribute to Australia’s offshore wind sector – skills such as engineering design, cable research and development, blade manufacturing, logistics and safety training. We found opportunities through migration, intellectual property sales, remote services, and royalty schemes in joint ventures.
Our analysis is helping shape investment and collaboration opportunities needed for growing Australia’s offshore wind market – critical for creating a scalable renewable energy supply. ” Damon Sunderland Project Director