Offshore Wind Opportunities on the Agenda at Industry Event

With global offshore wind expenditure forecast to reach £210 billion over the next 10 years, the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) and the Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult have joined forces in a bid encourage subsea companies to diversify. 

NSRI and ORE Catapult are hosting an event on 4th October at the Village Hotel, Aberdeen to highlight the long-term opportunities the offshore wind industry holds for UK subsea companies, as well as provide advice and support on market entry requirements, diversification strategies and the associated challenges. 

The event will welcome speakers from JDR Cables, Arup, Atkins and Seaway Heavy Lift, who will each discuss the ways in which subsea companies can adapt their existing offerings to meet the demands of the offshore wind sector across the globe.

Delegates will then work in groups to discuss the possible technological solutions which could help the industry overcome current and future challenges. These will be categorised into five themes: cables, environmental, installation, operations & maintenance and sub-structures & foundations.

The ideas generated will be grouped using NSRI’s adopt, adapt, develop and collaborate principle, setting out the short, medium and long term activities that will help progress the development of subsea technology for widespread use in the offshore wind sector. NSRI will also highlight the opportunities for operators, developers, academia and the wider industry to work together to break down barriers and bring about positive change.

Dr Gordon Drummond, project director of NSRI said: "Europe is most definitely leading the way in offshore wind. However China, Japan and the USA are growing markets which present a host of opportunities for UK firms over the next five to 10 years. 

"Subsea supply chain companies have the skills and experience to make the most of these opportunities, as they look to diversify into other sectors to mitigate some of the current challenges faced by the sustained low oil price.”

Following the event, NSRI will issue a report on the findings, with technology roadmaps outlining the way ahead with industry-driven objectives.

Jamie McCallum, project engineer at NSRI, has been heavily involved in exploring the opportunities in offshore renewables for UK supply chain companies. He said: "We hope the event will help guide companies though the steps required to break into the offshore wind industry, highlighting the entry routes and the opportunities most accessible to the UK supply chain.

"The offshore wind industry is focused on innovating to reduce costs giving subsea companies the chance to introduce new technology and products to the industry.

"While fossil fuels are expected to continue dominating the global energy supply mix, renewable energy is taking off at an incredible rate. Companies need to jump into action and adapt their offerings now to meet the needs of the sector and drive long-term growth.”
Andrew Tipping, commercialisation manager for ORE Catapult, said: "The offshore wind industry in Europe is maturing at a rapid rate, with offshore wind turbines increasing in size, wind farms being built in deeper water and further from the shore, and with government pressure to reduce costs. This creates the perfect environment for innovation in the supply chain as installers and operators look for new solutions to meet these challenges. 

"ORE Catapult has been working with industry and academia to identify specific technology innovation challenges, the resolution of which we believe will help drive down the cost of offshore renewable energy and have a positive impact on the UK economy. Many of these are not unique to offshore wind, with similar issues faced in offshore oil and gas, and so we’ve teamed up with NSRI to highlight the opportunities for both the offshore wind supply chain, and those looking to move into the sector from oil and gas.”

NSRI recently expanded its online Matchmaker service to help organisations identify the opportunities in offshore wind by pairing end users with technology researchers and developers in the appropriate fields.

The Subsea Technological Challenges in Offshore Wind event will take place on 4th October at Village Hotel, Prime Four, Kingswells, Aberdeen. Those wishing to attend can book their place online here.