Offshore wind majors signal continued commitment to R&D as next stage of the Offshore Wind Accelerator gets the green light

Offshore wind turbine

The OWA has been pioneering industry-led RD&D activity since 2008, having undertaken more than 180 projects internationally. Over this period, rapid cost reductions have led to wide-scale deployment of offshore wind and the levelised cost of energy (LCOE) has significantly fallen. Technology RD&D efforts have played a significant role in this achievement, with 2018 analysis showing that OWA-supported innovations could deliver a 15 per cent reduction in the LCOE over a project’s lifetime, which translates to a £34bn saving for the European offshore wind industry based on 2030 build out targets.

The next phase of the OWA aims to continue the cost reduction of offshore wind, overcome market barriers, develop industry best practice, trigger the development of new industry standards and support the international expansion of offshore wind. 

OWA projects will be focused around the areas of access and logistics, cables, electrical systems, foundations, and energy yield and performance. This builds on previous work areas, but broadens the programme’s remit in line with developments in the offshore wind sector and the growing international market.

This year's Clean Energy Innovation report from the International Energy Agency highlights offshore wind as an industry in which strong collaboration has created more rapid innovation cycles and calls for a “continued push on innovation” for renewables. The success of the OWA’s pioneering ‘collaborate to compete’ model for offshore wind innovation has led to the creation of other collaborative government and industry R&D programmes managed by Carbon Trust experts for areas including floating wind and consenting risk reduction.  

Jan Matthiesen, Director, Offshore Wind, the Carbon Trust, commented:

“We are delighted to be announcing the next iteration of the OWA, which has already played a critical role in commercialising offshore wind technologies and realising the potential of this industry, which is playing a significant role in the decarbonisation of economies around the world.

“Offshore wind is at an exciting stage of deployment, with project investment reaching new heights in the first half of this year. But with growing ambition comes new challenges, and our experienced team and partners are ready to find and support the next generation of solutions.”

Georgios Stamatelopoulos, Senior Vice President – Generation, Energie Baden-Württemberg AG commented:

“Further reduction of costs is a constant factor of success in future offshore wind projects both in mature and emerging markets. EnBW is a strong supporter of the fourth phase of the industry-led OWA programme and appreciates the inclusion of wind farm operation-related aspects in the work programme that are becoming increasingly important for the competitiveness of offshore wind.”

Danielle Jarski, Renewables Director of Engineering, RWE, said:

“As a globally leading renewable energy player which now brings together the former renewables businesses of E.ON and innogy, RWE Renewables has been a long-term partner of the OWA programme. Thanks to the collaborative and determined approach taken by all partners, the OWA has driven remarkable progress within our industry, supporting the transformation of offshore wind from an embryonic, subsidised sector to one that is competitive and future-proofed. We now represent the combined expertise of two former OWA partners all under RWE Renewables, and we are looking forward to continuing this cooperation to support the global expansion of offshore wind.”


Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) programme

Learn more about our work on offshore wind


For further information please contact the Carbon Trust press office on +44 (0) 20 7170 7050 or

Notes to editors

About the Offshore Wind Accelerator
The Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) is the Carbon Trust's flagship collaborative research, development and deployment programme. The joint initiative was set up between the Carbon Trust and nine offshore wind developers in 2008, with the aim to reduce the cost of offshore wind to be competitive with conventional energy generation, as well as provide insights regarding industry standard (and best practice) health and safety requirements. 

The current phase involves participation and funding from eight international energy companies: EnBW, Equinor, Ørsted, RWE Renewables (including the former renewables business of innogy), ScottishPower Renewables, Shell, SSE Renewables, and Vattenfall, who collectively represent 75% of Europe’s installed offshore wind capacity. 

About the Carbon Trust
Established in 2001, the Carbon Trust works with businesses, governments and institutions around the world, helping them contribute to, and benefit from, a more sustainable future through carbon reduction, resource efficiency strategies, and commercialising low carbon businesses, systems and technologies.

The Carbon Trust:

  • works with corporates and governments, helping them to align their strategies with climate science and meet the goals of the Paris Agreement
  • provides expert advice and assurance, giving investors and financial institutions the confidence that green finance will have genuinely green outcomes
  • supports the development of low carbon technologies and solutions, building the foundations for the energy system of the future.

Headquartered in London, the Carbon Trust has a global team of over 200 staff, representing over 30 nationalities based across five continents.