Humber’s key role in seeing off offshore wind’s economic headwinds …
The Humber’s world-leading cluster is ready to step up and play a key role as offshore wind continues to face economic headwinds, a leading figure has told.
Innovation, expertise and critical mass is seen as key as the sector addresses cost implications with a period of raging inflation seeing global projects halted or pulled. From East Anglia to the US’s Eastern seaboard, the pace of development has lulled as pounds, dollars and krones pulled as heavy as the Net Zero commitments they seek to support.
This summer's susbidy auction round also saw no new offshore wind bids emerge nationally, with an overview of the process understood to be underway as strike prices proved not to be viable.
Lauren Little, senior stakeholder advisor for Orsted in the region, addressed The Waterline Summit, with the global wind farm developer the industry champion for the Humber Offshore Wind Cluster.
She said: “This year the offshore wind industry in the UK and around the world has faced headwinds. Our industry is maturing and we’re experiencing challenges, so we have to adapt.
“Nowhere is better positioned than the Humber to support industry through challenging times. We’re the most established offshore wind cluster in the UK with a strong foundation of operational offshore wind farms, workforce and supply chain. We're looked at in the UK and around the world for our experience and expertise. We now need to ensure that we continue to develop, grow and optimise how we deliver in the Humber, towards maturing our industry to ensure sustainability for the future.
“The pressing need for energy security and reaching Net Zero remains, in policy and in industry, where offshore wind is crucial in achieving this. Together we will weather the storm and there is a need now, more than ever, for us to demonstrate the tenacity of the Humber to continue our growth, deliver our pipeline and support the wider industry and UK on achieving collective ambitions.”
The Humber Offshore Wind Cluster celebrated its third anniversary with the event, with strong recognition of collaboration spanning “well over a decade”.(Image: Reach Plc)
Miss Little told how the area boasts eight offshore wind farms, with seven in the pipeline - with a workforce of more than 4,700, and a further 10,000 anticipated by 2030.
“We're providing 35 per cent of the total offshore wind capacity in the UK to the grid, that's 4.9GW, power for over 4.4 million homes from our incredible power stations out at sea,” she enthused. Aligning with The Waterline Summit’s themes, she said: “This cluster, this industry, is taking action to support decarbonisation, demonstrating adaptation, resilience and innovation at a time that is needed more than ever.
The delivery of the 10th “hugely successful” Offshore Wind Connections conference was flagged, so too representation at international events, in networks, and consultations.
Work has ranged from national and international delegations to teacher and careers events, as well as producing learning materials.
And major milestones in the cluster were also toasted at the drinks reception at Aura Innovation Centre. Miss Little recapped on RWE's Dogger Bank South and Total Energies and Corio Generation’s Outer Dowsing receiving lease agreements, Orsted’s Hornsea Four receiving its development consent order and offshore construction of RWE's Sofia starting.
“We’ve seen the physical expansion start at RWE's Grimsby Hub and near completion of Siemens Gamesa’s blade factory in Hull; we've seen Humber companies, such as SMC and Boston Energy, continue to win contracts and deliver beyond the Humber - exporting knowledge, skills and experience overseas; we've seen innovation in practice as the £2.8m 5G Portal and living lab has now launched in Grimsby, and in addition there have been announcements of new green service operation vessels coming to Grimsby, and giant drones delivering cargo to Hornsea One!
“We've seen the launch of the pioneering Wilder Humber programme in partnership with Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts and Orsted to increase biodiversity along our coastline, and we've welcomed even more new entrants into the industry with the largest ever recruitment of apprentices across the region as well as hundreds of new positions being created at Siemens Gamesa blade factory in Hull.”(Image: Reach Plc)
- ^ Dogger Bank South (www.business-live.co.uk)
- ^ receiving lease agreements (www.business-live.co.uk)
- ^ Hornsea Four (www.business-live.co.uk)
- ^ offshore construction of RWE's Sofia (www.business-live.co.uk)
- ^ Boston Energy (www.business-live.co.uk)
- ^ £2.8m 5G Portal and living lab (www.business-live.co.uk)
- ^ new green service operation vessels (www.business-live.co.uk)
- ^ giant drones delivering cargo (www.business-live.co.uk)
- ^ Wilder Humber programme (www.business-live.co.uk)
- ^ largest ever recruitment of apprentices (www.business-live.co.uk)
- ^ Siemens Gamesa blade factory (www.business-live.co.uk)