Reviewing my notes from yesterday’s Offshore Wind Industry Council event in Hull and, despite the seemingly endless acronyms -in this case ‘OWIC’, it is evident just how far the industry has come.
I recall being a member of the Humber Offshore Gateway team a decade or so ago with eon being among early entrants to the east coast as we exhibited our proposals to the region. Since then offshore wind energy has been one of the industries helping the city develop and it was nice to see a smart new hotel serving as a venue for this supply chain seminar. Here is what I learned: Offshore wind has been a remarkable if unheralded success story for the UK. This echoes my own thoughts the astonishing rise of wind energy and it is nice to see it being recognised by key stakeholders – especially government. The port of Grimsby on the far side of the Humber from Hull is now the largest Operations and Maintenance centre for offshore wind in the world, with Orsted, Eon and others having a tangible and regenerative presence on the old fish dock. The region is rapidly developing into an ‘Energy cluster’ with support from the Universities, Catapult, and manufactures such as Siemens. These are established and is operational and working towards an even more impressive future. The world is now watching offshore wind on the humber. The region is exporting to sister developments in Holland and Germany and, as the sector deal is finalised this can only be expected to ramp up dramatically. The existing and future supply chain turned out in significant numbers yesterday. Martin Whitmarsh and his team are ensuring that they are aware of the opportunity and know how and when to engage. Offshore Wind industry engagement sessions such as this show the electricity industry reaching out to ensure UK content in the knowledge it is being closely watched. The government is especially keen on local content and the accompanying jobs which form a key part of the nascent sectoral deal.