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Investigating SME participation in the UK offshore wind supply chain

Danilova, Julija; Grant, David; Menachof, David


Julija Danilova

David Grant

David Menachof


Paper delivered at the 21st Logistics Research Network annual conference 2016, 7th-9th September 2016, Hull. Abstract Purpose: The UK is the world’s offshore wind (OW) market leader in terms of installed capacity. OW is one of the main renewable energy technologies contributing to the UK’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and given its shallow seabed and vast amount of the wind resources around its coasts, the UK in general (and the Humber region in particular) offers a great advantage to further develop this technology and bring economic value to its domestic market in the third round of OW farm development. However, discussions around these opportunities raise questions as to how businesses may take advantage of them and what is expected of them. This paper presents the results of a research project investigating participation of small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) in the UK OW supply chain. Research Approach: Exploratory techniques were used to collect data from different perspectives to provide a comprehensive review of the industry and its supply chain structures and identify the main requirements that are expected of suppliers interested to be part of this industry through a literature review and interviews. Findings and originality: The study found that the UK OW sector’s supply chain structure varies according to one of four project execution strategies employed by the project owner, e.g. EPIC/EPC, DIY, multi-contracting and alliancing. The study also found that OW farm development and construction involves a lot of different industries each requiring specific qualifications and certifications. However, there are three common requirements, of which ISO 9001 is a prerequisite that SMEs should ideally already have or are working towards obtaining. Research Impact: The study adds to a sparse literature on how SMEs can effectively develop appropriate supply chain strategies, particularly in the OW sector by providing the findings on different supply chain strategies affecting their structures. Practical Impact: The study found that the OW sector does represent a good opportunity for SMEs in light of the upcoming Round 3 OW development in the UK. The study identifies the key requirements and expectations SMEs need to adhere to in order to enter the OW market.


Danilova, J., Grant, D., & Menachof, D. Investigating SME participation in the UK offshore wind supply chain

Deposit Date Nov 24, 2016
Journal Proceedings of the 21st logistics research network annual conference 2016
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Keywords Offshore wind sector, Supply chain management, SMEs, UK
Public URL
Publisher URL The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport website is available at


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