The report, Offshore Wind: Opportunities for the Composites Industry, also shows that annual composites demand in this market will reach 100 000 tonnes a year by the end of the decade.

Opportunities for UK composites industry

The report highlights the potential for the UK composites industry in wind component development and manufacture.

As well as in blade manufacture, the report highlights other areas where composites can be used in offshore wind farm components, the manufacturing processes employed, and the technological and the market drivers.

Although there are limited prospects of new blade manufacturers entering the market (as most large-scale turbine manufacturers make their own blades), there are siginificant opportunities throughout the supply chain in areas such as:

  • tooling supply and manufacturing support;
  • material and sub-component supply;
  • research, development and demonstration (RD&D) of processes and materials; and
  • blade inspection and repair.

New technologies

“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,” according to Julian Brown, Associate Director of consultancy BVG Associates.

“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.”

The full report, Offshore Wind: Opportunities for the Composites Industry, The Crown Estate, June 2011, can be downloaded at