Press release

New co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council appointed

Benj Sykes announced as new co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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DONG Energy Wind Power’s Country manager, Benj Sykes, was today announced as the new co-chair of the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) by Business and Energy Minister, the Rt. Hon Michael Fallon MP, who also co-chairs the group.

The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) is the strategic partnership forum between Government and the offshore wind industry. OWIC’s role is to drive offshore wind deployment, bring down costs and build a successful, competitive UK-based industry. It oversees delivery of the Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, which sets out how the industry and Government work together to deliver growth in the sector.

Mr. Sykes replaces Keith Anderson, the Chief Corporate Officer of ScottishPower, who has held this role since 2010, and will remain a member of OWIC.

Michael Fallon said:

The skills and experience that Benj brings are a real boost to the Offshore Wind Industry Council following the excellent work of the previous co-chair, Keith Anderson.

The UK is currently the best country in the world to invest in offshore wind. I’m looking forward to working closely with Benj to continue to build a competitive and innovative UK offshore wind sector that brings jobs, exports and economic benefits for the UK.

Benj Sykes is UK Country Manager, DONG Energy Wind Power and before working with DONG he held a number of positions with The Carbon Trust, including the Director of Innovation role.

Before working in the low carbon sector he gained significant experience in the oil and gas sector, mainly with Hess Corporation.

Benj Sykes said:

OWIC has an important job in helping to drive the UK’s offshore wind industry forward. I’m looking forward to taking on this exciting and challenging role, and working closely with Government and the members of OWIC to drive down the cost of offshore wind and deliver a competitive and diversified supply chain, ensuring that offshore wind delivers on its potential to play a vital role in the UK’s energy mix for many years to come.

Notes to editors

  1. The UK is the world leader in offshore wind, with more installed capacity than any other country as at March 2014.
  2. The Offshore Wind Industry Council is a stakeholder advisory group which is co-chaired by Business and Energy Minister the Rt. Hon Michael Fallon MP and a senior industry representative. Industry membership is drawn from offshore wind developers taking forward projects in UK waters, UK supply chain representatives covering all major areas of the supply chain including ports and turbine manufacturers, Government representatives and key stakeholders such as The Crown Estate. OWIC was established in May 2013, as part of the Government’s wider Industrial Strategy programme. It replaced the Offshore Wind Developers Forum (OWDF) which was established in 2010.
  3. OWIC is responsible for overseeing delivery of the Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, which was published in August 2013, and which sets out how the industry & Government will work to deliver growth in the sector, including actions to build a thriving UK supply chain and seize commercial opportunities in the UK and abroad. The Offshore Wind Programme Board reports to the Offshore Wind Industry Council.
  4. Benj Sykes became the industry side co-chair with effect from 31 March 2014 for a two year period.
  5. All appointments, including that of the co-chair, are on a voluntary basis and are unpaid.
  6. Further information about the Offshore Wind Industry Council is available on the Crown Estate website
Published 22 April 2014