There is massive opportunity in offshore wind right now to help the UK and other countries around the world meet their net zero targets. Cameron Smith, Head of Offshore (UK) at Mainstream Renewable Power – one of our highly-esteemed Event Partners for Global Offshore Wind 2020 – considers the current global landscape and how the UK compares:
“The UK is a big market in offshore wind. Whether the target is 30GW or 50GW, we have the infrastructure and the innovation in place to achieve this. The UK is the most innovative market and it is crucial that we continue to develop it.
“Looking further afield, Vietnam is a very interesting market. They have a significant need for power and no obvious way of generating it. An offshore wind revolution is coming. This is a huge space for us and we are looking at the first 400MW project next year. The USA is another market with massive potential – with a change in policy, there could be an explosion of activity in offshore wind. In addition, given the lower cost of project development today, Asia-Pacific is one more to watch, particularly for floating wind.”
Speaking about the major changes in the UK market over the past decade or so, Cameron highlights the impact of price reductions.
“In the UK, power prices have fallen significantly in the last 10 years,” he says. “It is now an unsubsidised sector, changing in the landscape entirely. The rise and integration of technology at every point of the process has allowed this to happen. Prices won’t go much lower, but we should see a more stable supply chain that invests in innovation to support further industry growth.”
While looking ahead, Cameron offers insight into what he predicts will come next for the sector:
“Mainstream Renewable Power has, for many years, championed the cause for a Supergrid. The ability to connect countries is and will be key to the success of this industry. The conventional distribution model needs to evolve and there is a need for greater harmony of standards and technologies between countries. There hasn’t been a strategic approach to this before, but this is changing.
“As for the next big thing in the industry, large floating offshore wind projects of 300MW+ will be a milestone. Improved interconnection and development of multiple, integrated energy systems between countries will be another.”
With all this to come, Cameron puts offshore wind in the centre of success in the global race to net zero, commenting:
“Offshore wind will undoubtedly be key to achieving net zero. Combining the scale-up of the market, recent price reductions and potential market size worldwide, with the substantial demand for power and significant pressures on land use, will make offshore wind the most significant technology in this particular race.”
Paula Major, Vice President of US Offshore Wind at Mainstream Renewable Power, says:
“Climate change is the number one threat facing Earth. It is a global crisis that affects us all. To combat a global crisis, we must act on a global scale. We, as an industry, have the opportunity and the technology to help nations around the world achieve their clean energy goals and create zero carbon economies.”
Looking at the role that Mainstream Renewable Power will likely play in all this, Cameron demonstrates how the company’s strong heritage will enable it to trailblaze a path ahead. He says:
“We are well-positioned to drive industry development for a number of reasons. I believe we are one of the largest, if not the largest developer of projects in the UK. We have developed about 3.5GW – which is approximately 25% of the UK’s operational or in construction capacity. It is our stakeholder management and environmental design that make us unique. We find the best sites, work closely with stakeholders, develop a detailed environmental design and provide ready-to-build projects that meet or exceed targets. We have the best people, we invest in innovation, we invest in training and we work with the best partners to take us forward.”
Bui Vinh Thang, Head of Government and Corporate Relations at Mainstream Renewable Power, says:
“Mainstream have a lot of experience in developing companies, which means we have experience building projects where there has not been a market set-up and supply chain for the industry.”
The Global Offshore Wind 2020 conference and exhibition will be going online this October, ensuring you can still immerse yourself in the latest ideas, technologies and trends in the sector. Cameron adds:
“It has been more difficult to share experiences within the global market this year, but the industry is certainly still moving. The Global Offshore Wind conference and exhibition is an example of how we are pushing ahead. This has always been a real landmark event for the UK sector – one that none of us want to miss. Virtual events are remarkably simple to engage with, so I’m looking forward to meeting new partners and making new connections in new markets. That’s what it’s all about – sharing new ideas and innovations that challenge current thinking in offshore wind.”
Registration closes 22 October
Global Offshore Wind 2020 virtual conference and exhibition 28-30 October #RUKGOW20
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