Background and Aim
By connecting different sectors and different levels of government and administration, POWER cluster established a sustainable offshore wind cluster. Innovation and learning within the cluster was enhanced. The combined parts of the supply chain allowed for wider economic development to take place through a series of multiplier effects in income, employment, research and productivity performance.
The main aims were to make the North Sea Region:
- a better place to live in, by reducing emissions and securing energy supply, as well as informing people and raising awareness about the positive impacts of offshore wind energy (including environmental concerns and job creation effects)
- a better place to work in, by tackling the impacts of demographic change in the different regions, reintegrating unemployed and/or senior labour force, securing and creating jobs in areas in industrial decline and restructuring
- a better place to invest in and export from, by stimulating the growth of the offshore wind industry, which supported maintaining its world leading role in this future oriented and innovative sector, triggering inward and outward investments.
The offshore wind industry (OWI) is at a turning point, with the first large scale offshore wind farms (OWF) being built over the next years. However, the industry still has to overcome substantial challenges to meet the ambitious targets for offshore wind set at national/EU levels.
The regions have varied settings, due to their diverse domestic wind markets, and are characterized by individual strengths and weaknesses. Whilst no individual region can demonstrate excellence in every aspect of the supply chain, together, the individual regions have full capability throughout all identifiable supply chain activities.
There was a clear benefit of establishing a real offshore wind POWER cluster with close relationships between the companies in the different regions, both for the economic regeneration of the involved regions, and for confirming the North Sea Region as the global engine for the OWI.
The consortium sought to promote the coherence of policies and aimed to establish standard-setting approaches, as the regions had common concerns and shared interests that could be tackled by joint solutions.
The partnership aimed to tackle the crucial challenges (skilled work force, supply chain enhancement, public acceptance and transnational complementarity) by cooperation beyond borderlines and sector barriers. The project sought to develop cooperation between individual countries in order to take advantage of future growth in offshore wind and identifying future markets. It strengthened the position of the North Sea Region as a sector leader, not just for Europe, but globally, based on detailed analysis of the regional and transnational supply chain.