This is an exciting time for the floating offshore wind sector, with new investment opportunities adding to the continual developments in technology, infrastructure and supply chain.

As RenewableUK prepares for this year’s Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) Conference & Exhibition in Aberdeen on October 4-5, we take a look at some of the most recent advancements in the field that are likely to shape the industry over the coming 12 months.

Opportunities for growth

In March 2023, Crown Estate Scotland announced the results of the world’s first leasing round that enables offshore wind energy to directly supply offshore oil and gas platforms.

The Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) leasing was designed to create further opportunity for and entice investment in offshore wind projects across Scottish waters.

There were 13 successful applicants that now have exclusivity agreements with a proposed capacity of up to 499 MW in small-scale projects (100 MW or less) and 5 GW of renewable electricity intended for oil and agas infrastructures.

The INTOG leasing round will provide exciting new inroads for floating offshore wind, as organisations look to develop the supply chain and utilise innovative technologies off the Scottish coast.

RenewableUK executive director of policy, Ana Musat, said: “To maximise these opportunities and maintain our global competitive advantage, we’ll need to ensure that we can secure a route to market for these technologies in future CfD auctions in the years ahead, by getting the framework right to unlock billions of pounds of private investment.”

This comes shortly after the Spring Budget announced new Investment Zones, which could also be utilised by renewable energy developers and suppliers, further boosting funding within the sector.

Eastern Daily Press: It's an exciting time for the floating offshore wind sectorIt's an exciting time for the floating offshore wind sector (Image: RenewableUK)

Next steps

Though floating offshore wind is in a strong position, poised for growth, there are areas that will require attention before the industry’s full potential can be realised.

A recently published report by the Floating Wind Offshore Taskforce suggests some of the key developments that may help the sector to achieve even the greatest ambitions. The Industry Roadmap 2040 assessed 15 UK port facilities, their role in floating offshore wind, existing infrastructure and capacity, supply chain dynamics and vessel support.

In what makes for an interesting read, the report produced an array of key recommendations for the near- and long-term future that would ensure UK ports can facilitate the upscaling of the floating offshore wind industry.

Among these it suggested advancing a multi-port strategy to establish regional clusters of ports that would support the 2030 deployment target and beyond. It also recommended developing port infrastructure to establish key integration ports in Scottish waters and the Celtic Sea, as well as corresponding manufacturing and assembly ports to support growth in the sector.

With regards to supply chain development, the report recommended the early establishment of competitive manufacturing facilities for floating offshore wind structures to accelerate project deployment.

It also highlighted the importance of continued investment opportunities, proposing a recurring financial support scheme in place of mission-driven investment.

Of course, other areas will need to be considered in addition to port capacity across the UK. For example, technology is expected to be developed in a way that significantly reduces cost, increases scale production and broadens access to renewable energy for more industries.

Floating substations may also play an important role as floating offshore wind sites make use of deeper waters further from the coastline. There are then mooring and cabling challenges to consider, and new solutions must be created in order to align these with the evolution of the sector.

In short, much progress has been made, but there is some way yet to go if we are to achieve net zero targets in the coming decades with the support of floating offshore wind.

Knowledge, networking and collaboration

No matter which area of the industry you work within, remaining up-to-date with the latest funding opportunities, technologies and collaborative projects is important. That’s why the FOW Conference is such a busy event every year.

It brings together a huge mix of individuals and organisations to discuss achievements and challenges so far, explore new ideas, strengthen working relationships and build new networks for the future.

All key players are in attendance, including manufacturers, developers and suppliers, stakeholders, government representatives, engineers, project managers, members of the international press and so many more.

Eastern Daily Press: RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables are delighted to facilitate the return of FOW to the P&J Live in Aberdeen on October 4-5RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables are delighted to facilitate the return of FOW to the P&J Live in Aberdeen on October 4-5 (Image: RenewableUK)

What’s on for 2023?

Following a record-breaking event in 2022, RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables are delighted to facilitate the return of FOW to the P&J Live in Aberdeen on October 4-5.

It will once again be a centre of innovation, inspiration and collaboration for all those involved with floating offshore wind in the UK and abroad. Experts from across the field will be sharing valuable insights from their own project perspectives, demonstrating current trends in the industry and offering market intelligence.

The programme will consider everything from the technical challenges being faced right now to some of the solutions that are being developed, tried and tested on the ground.

In particular, sessions will explore how the sector can enhance industrialisation and commercialisation of floating offshore wind in order to build a prosperous and stable industry for the future.

Delivering even greater opportunities to engage with the floating offshore wind community, the exhibition floorplan has been extended since the last event.

There will also be various social and networking events and activities, enabling all attendees to relax after a busy day of learning, enjoy some time with friends and meet more people who share a passion for driving our industry forwards.

RenewableUK commercial director, Garth Halliday, said: “FOW is always a busy event with hundreds of people and teams coming together to swap experiences, share best practice and get up-to-date with the latest news in the sector.

“Last year completely sold-out, so I would definitely recommend booking early to avoid disappointment for 2023! We have increased capacity this year but we still expect tickets to be in high demand.”

For more details and to register, visit