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Blown away by the opportunities in offshore wind

The reception event for the Floating Offshore Wind Conference 2018 in Aberdeen
The reception event for the Floating Offshore Wind Conference 2018 in Aberdeen

With the Crown Estate’s recent announcement of offshore wind leasing round four, there is a fantastic opportunity for offshore wind developers to get involved in the first leasing round of its type in more than 10 years.

Four new zones will be available off the coasts of England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

At least seven gigawatts of power are expected to be produced as part of this round, which could supply electricity for up to six million homes.

The scale of this leasing round is expected to spark renewed interest in the UK’s offshore wind market, which is already the largest in the world.

In Scotland, the ScotWind leasing round is open for applications until April 2020. This is another significant opportunity for offshore developers who wish to get involved in offshore wind in Scottish waters.

From a Scottish perspective, we are leading the world in the development of floating offshore wind farms. The Hywind development, which was installed in 2017 off the coast of Peterhead, boasts the world’s first floating wind turbine with a capacity of 30MW.

Continued innovation will see Hywind’s total capacity topped by a new floating offshore wind farm that is currently under construction. The Kincardine Offshore Wind Farm, 15 kilometres off the coast of Aberdeen, is set to power up to 50MW.

Floating wind technology is also being integrated within offshore oil and gas installations in the North Sea in Norway. Equinor’s Hywind Tampen project will supply renewable power to offshore oil and gas installations through floating offshore windfarms.

With Aberdeen and surrounding areas being at the centre of the wind revolution, Renewable UK is once again hosting two major renewable energy conferences in the city.

RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables are – in partnership with Subsea UK – bringing the Cables Conference to P&J Live on October 29-30. Subsea cables are becoming increasingly important within the development of renewables, providing the infrastructure to ensure successful export and transmission of power.

The conference will be an industry-led event designed to solve real industry problems.

On October 31, the 2019 Floating Offshore Wind Conference and Exhibition will also take place at P&J Live. The event is the UK’s largest floating offshore wind conference and exhibition. It will explore global market opportunities for both developers and the supply chain. Areg members are entitled to a 20% discount for both events.

Business opportunities within floating technology will be substantial and those who are currently exploring the market will benefit from first-mover advantage, as we are very much at the early stages of a fast-moving sector. The floating offshore wind conference will provide a platform to discuss challenges presented by new technology.

As the world races to decarbonise, renewables-focused events are becoming increasingly important in the business development calendar. At Areg, we continue to provide events of real value for our members. As part of the World Energy Cities Partnership AGM, we recently hosted a ferry visit to Vattenfall’s European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre. The event was very well received.

I am certain the upcoming events will provide excellent opportunities for delegates in a sector which continues to attract global investment. We look forward to engaging with the supply chain and supporting our members with the leasing round applications.

Hope to see you there.

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