The offshore renewable energy (ORE) industry has experienced rapid growth over the last decade, both within the UK and internationally. However the full potential of ORE resources still remains to be fully exploited and as such the industry is expected to continue to grow. New technological developments within ORE are essential to meet UK and global climate change objectives, and to make major contributions towards innovation, jobs and growth. The UK has the ambition to lead the world in developing these technologies and the Government has put ‘clean growth’ at the centre of its modern Industrial Strategy. The Foresight Future of the Sea report (March 2018) highlighted significant global trends in the marine sector. In particular, it identified offshore wind as an area of significant opportunity.
The UK has the largest installed capacity of offshore wind (29% of global capacity at the end of 2019). Globally, £2.5 trillion investment is predicted for the wind energy sector between 2017 and 2040 (Offshore Wind Industry Prospectus). In a review of the Skills and Labour Requirements of the UK Offshore Wind Industry 2018 to 2032, employment in the offshore wind sector is predicted to increase from 10,000 jobs in 2017 to 36,000.
Mainland UK waters are also among the best in the world for wave and tidal energy resource, holding 50% of Europe’s tidal resource, and with the potential to meet up to 20% of the UK’s current electricity demand. The ORE Catapult estimates that the tidal stream industry could generate a net cumulative benefit to the UK of £1,400m, including considerable exports, and support 4,000 jobs by 2030 and that wave energy could add a net positive contribution to the UK economy of £4,000m and support 8,100 jobs by 2040.
Graduates of the programme will be ready to hit the ground running with project developers, engineering and design consultancies, certification agencies and marine contractors.