What an exciting week it was for the Offshore Wind Sector on the 14-15 June!
After 2 insightful days at the Excel centre in London, hearing from speakers around the expediential growth in our sector and the potential challenges the market is facing because of the increasing pressure to meet governmental targets, here are some of our key takeaways:
Going for growth
Renewables/offshore wind is a key growth area - expediential growth needed to meet targets, combined with opportunity for jobs. This comes as no surprise as it was only a couple of weeks ago Energy Voice posted an article stating ‘UK offshore wind needs to attract 70,000 workers by 2030’. Source: UK offshore wind needs to attract 70,000 workers by 2030 (energyvoice.com)
We see developments within:
Hydrogen & Storage
The hydrogen economy is a key growth area, and many companies are joining in to capitalize on this future vision and become market leaders throughout the whole hydrogen value chain. Hydrogen, specifically green hydrogen, has been a topic of interest for the renewable energy economy for a very long time. Thanks to its vital applications across industries, it is becoming a gamechanger with its noteworthy contribution to clean energy transitions. Source: Green Hydrogen Leaders – Q4 2022 - GlobalData
Development of Floating Wind
The Crown Estate has made further progress to its proposal to locate potential settings for new floating wind farms in the Celtic Sea. Marine Energy Wales hosted a webinar in February 2023 stating they are conducting Environment Impact Surveys to accelerate the delivery of the project whilst ensuring the least impact to the surrounding habitats as possible. Source: Celtic Sea Floating Wind: February 2023 update | Celtic Sea Floating Wind: February 2023 update (thecrownestate.co.uk)
Furthermore, industry experts have used GWEC Market Intelligence to estimate that 18.9 GW of floating wind capacity will be built globally by 2030, England will reportedly lead this charge with 11 GW, with Orsted suggesting this sector could make up 20% of all new offshore wind by 2030. Source: GWEC-Global-Offshore-Wind-Report-2022.pdf
Use of drones and self-drive ROVs
The global Drones in Energy Sector market size is expected to reach USD 178.36 million by 2030 and exhibit a CAGR of 18.68% in the forecast period (2022−2030), according to Skyquest latest research report. With an increasing need for safer inspection and reduced inspection costs, the need for drones has grown in the past few years. Source: Rising Use of drones in the energy sector (globenewswire.com)
Breaking the bias
Since last year’s conference, there appeared to be an improvement in diverse representation, with an article by Renewable UK stating that '7% of our workforce are from non-white backgrounds, compared to 3.8% in 2021'. Whilst there is certainly a greater commitment industry wide to ensure representation continues to increase and diversify, it is clear more needs to be done to break the bias in this area. Source: Over 100,000 offshore wind jobs by 2030 with decisive action on skills - RenewableUK
A key discussion point revolved around the wide talent shortage the industry is facing, with an additional 70,000 estimated jobs needed to meet 2030 targets. Without boosting these numbers and increasing the pace of development, climate change will continue to impose detrimental and irreversible effects on our planet and future generations.
Graduates & Apprenticeships
A potential solution to this talent shortage would be the hiring of graduates, ensuring the continuation of a skilled workforce for future generations. We spoke with several graduates whose background ranged from engineering to environmental studies, who were looking at a way to enter the industry but were facing barriers, namely a lack of specific offshore graduate programmes and appetite from clients to hire those with less onsite experience. If the government wants to ensure their net zero targets are met, it is clear more needs to be done to invest in both graduate programmes and apprenticeships.
Overall, it is clear we must remain optimistic and look for more innovative and collaborative solutions to ensure wind capacity can be maximised globally, but we cannot overlook the huge steps the industry has already taken in securing a more sustainable world for all. We look forward to seeing how much progress has been made by #RUKGOW24.
Please reach out to ersg should you wish to integrate some of these changes in your business or want to partner with a leading firm.