Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Strong Future in Windpower

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

A Strong Future in Windpower

Article excerpt

AN increasing number of North East businesses are reaping the benefits of the foresight shown by key players in the industry seeking to diversify operations and activities beyond traditional energy sectors.

Several years before the dramatic fall in the oil price, which led to a prolonged period of suppressed oil and gas activity, NOF Energy and a number of its members began advocating the importance of a balanced energy mix.

This strategy has extended beyond the range of energy sources that are generated and consumed, and into the skills, products and services of the supply chain, which are highlydeveloped and have the potential to be transferred into complementary sectors.

The most notable example of this is the offshore wind industry. The North East supply chain has played an important role in the earliest field developments and continues to play a significant role in the growth of the sector.

The expertise and skills acquired in developing products and services for the North Sea, one of the harshest environments for recovering hydrocarbons, is now being used by hugely innovative and entrepreneurial businesses to ensure that the UK economy benefits in every way from the growth of renewable energy.

The UK has become the world leader in offshore wind, with 5GW operational with a target of 10GW installed by 2020. While early projects were under scrutiny over the low levels of local content utilised for the construction, operation and maintenance of offshore wind farms, the situation has improved.

This is partly as a result of improved relationships between wind farm operators and their prime contractors and the supply chain along with the increasingly positive reputation UK suppliers have achieved through the delivery of cost-effective, reliable, technologyled solutions.

The UK By championing the capabilities of the supply chain to the international wind industry, regional businesses working alongside NOF Energy have helped deliver this cultural and economic change.

has become the world leader in offshore wind Across the North East, the supply chain has not only diversified into offshore wind, but is now supporting a comprehensive range of activities from development consent and surveys and turbine manufacture through to installation and commissioning, along with Operations and Maintenance. …

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