OEEC 2023: ‘Collaborate with Non-Obvious Partners’

The offshore wind industry, now the linchpin between several offshore energy industries, is calling for both innovation and accelerating deployment, while also making sure one does not impede the progress of the other. 

During the ‘Renewable energy: Innovate or accelerate?’ conference session at the Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2023 (OEEC 2023), the speakers warned about focusing too much on innovation, noting that it could slow down the build-out (of offshore wind) – but also made the case for innovation in helping the industry accelerate on the path towards reaching the targets for 2030 and beyond.

“We need to keep innovating for many reasons; to deploy assets quickly, but also to ensure that we fabricate components in a fast way, that we have a positive impact on the environment, as well as creating a win-win scenario for other marine space users,” said Daniel Santa Cruz, Global Innovation and Entrepreneurship Director at Ocean Winds.

Santa Cruz further added that in renewable energy, businesses need to collaborate with non-obvious partners such as their competitors in order to accelerate innovation, and highlighted how this is already going on in offshore wind.

“It is quite unique for the offshore wind industry that competitors such as project developers are willingly cooperating,” Santa Cruz said.

Looking at where innovation ought to take a slower pace as targets need to be reached by deploying more offshore wind turbines – and fast! – Liz Burdock, President and CEO at Oceantic Network (formerly The Business Network for Offshore Wind) pointed out that there had to come a time when the industry focuses less on constant innovations and more on building capacity.

This is especially true in offshore wind, where components are growing in size almost by the day.

“The vessels are rolling off the line, and they are already obsolete,” Burdock said. “There has to come the time when we say enough is enough.” 

One thing we learned during the OEEC 2023 conference is that, as challenges on the global political and economic scenes keep arising, the offshore energy sector is pushing forward by leaving the old ways of doing things and reinventing the tools to better roll down the path towards 2050 net-zero goal. Read the full article about thoughts and insights shared at OEEC 2023 on Offshore Energy.

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