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8 August 2012 | Kamalpreet Badasha
Global demand for offshore wind farm cables, which transport power from turbine farms to the shore, is expected to outstrip supply by 85 per cent by 2015, according to a study by The Crown Estate.
The Cable Manufacturing Capability report concluded that global demand will exceed supply by 33 per cent between 2012 to 2018.
During the same period, demand in the UK alone will account for 57 per cent of supply.
The report recommended action be taken now to reduce the deficit. This could include building new manufacturing facilities, which would also demonstrate to existing producers and new entrants that the UK is committed to offshore development. Another suggestion is to improve the UK market, for example reducing the time between tendering and awarding contracts.
The study also suggested new cable manufacturers should be encouraged to enter the market, which would be a possible solution to a lack of capacity. An increase in the power transmission voltage of cables would also reduce the quantity of cable required, in turn reducing demand.