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Archive for the ‘Offshore wind’ Category

Building the foundations for the revolution

Thursday, April 25th, 2013

When you have worked in economic development as long as I have, you tend to
recognise the life cycle of big projects – the initial planning, the discussions, the
negotiations, the moment of financial closure, and the buzz when construction starts
and people are employed.

Yet, when you are helping build the framework for a whole new industry, the
development cycle is there, but it’s more subtle, comprising the background noise of
individual projects progressing towards a common goal. And just like that moment in
a crowded room, when lots of conversations pause, providing a moment of quiet, I’m
sensing a bit of calm before the storm. (more…)

Ardersier could be the key for offshore wind

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

The Highlands could be on the brink of a new jobs boom – and the Port of Ardersier could be the key.

The recent announcement that Highland Council would raise no objection to the Moray offshore wind farm project (under development by Moray Offshore Renewables Limited) – which could create up to 3,000 jobs – shows the opportunity is on its way.

Earlier this year First Minister Alex Salmond announced a memorandum of understanding between Highlands and Islands Enterprise and the Port of Ardersier which recognises Ardersier’s capacity to become one of the key manufacturing, construction and installation hubs for projects such as Moray.


Offshore Wind and Supply Chain Conference 2013

Thursday, February 14th, 2013

I was given a great opportunity at the end of January to attend Scottish Renewables’ Offshore Wind and Supply Chain Conference & Exhibition, which was held in Aberdeen on January 29th and 30th.  This was an exciting and interesting event where I had the chance to attend a number of the conference sessions and meet many of the key people involved in the industry.  This year’s conference marked the fifth year that the conference has been held and proved to be the biggest yet, with attendance numbers totalling between 800 and 900 people. 

One of the key outcomes of the conference, in my opinion, was the announcement by First Minister Alex Salmond in his keynote speech on the Tuesday morning, that HIE has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with four of the Highlands leading ports to support the development of the offshore renewables sector.  MoUs have been agreed with Global Energy Nigg, Port of Ardersier Ltd, Kishorn Port Ltd and Cromarty Firth Port Authority, all of which have a long history in servicing the oil and gas sector.  Many of the skills and expertise these companies use in the oil and gas sector can be adapted and transferred to the offshore renewables sector.


Introducing HIE’s New Offshore Renewables Graduate

Friday, February 8th, 2013

I recently joined Highlands & Islands Enterprise, where I have been warmly welcomed into the Energy & Low Carbon Team here in Cowan House, Inverness.  I am here on a one-year graduate placement working as Supply Chain Co-ordinator for the Offshore Renewables sector and I am delighted to have secured this position.

In my role I will be actively working with other members of my team on matters related to the offshore renewables supply chain – offshore wind and marine energy.  I will be responsible for helping companies to diversify and expand, as well as engaging with the thriving offshore renewables sector.

I have always had a strong interest in renewable energy and the environment, and issues related to energy efficiency, sustainability, climate change and global warming.  I also have an interest in planning and building design and layout.  I wish to be involved in increasing the share of renewable energy systems and to aid in the movement towards a sustainable energy future.


Offshore wind – oil and gas experience will drive progress

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Offshore wind is a massive opportunity for the UK – not only to meet ambitious climate change targets, but to build a vibrant new industry, create jobs and develop a country-wide supply chain.

The UK is already the largest offshore wind market in the world, with 48 GW of offshore wind sites under way and £200 billion investment predicted over the next ten years.

Tremendous progress is already being made, and this is flowing through the supply chain, with good news on major engineering contracts on a weekly, if not a daily, basis, an increasing number of which are by contractors that have a track record in the oil and gas sector.

This, I believe, is crucial. The UK’s global position in hydrocarbons, and specifically its experience offshore, can have a major impact on offshore wind’s ambitious deployment and cost reduction goals. (more…)

Exciting times for renewables sector

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

It’s been an exciting couple of weeks in the renewables sector in Scotland with some big announcements making the headlines, with the promise of lots more to come for this industry.
Firstly we saw the First Minister launch the new Nigg Skills Academy in Ross-shire.  This is a brilliant new development for the energy sector in the Highlands and Islands and has been broadly welcomed by the industry as a whole.  With funding support from Skills Development Scotland, the Scottish Funding Council and HIE totalling £915,000, the Academy hopes to have 290 Modern Apprentices through its doors in the first year of operation.  These apprentices are going to be very valuable to the industry in the coming years, with over 3,000 people expected to have completed training by 2015.
The Skills Academy has seen over 800 applications already, for an initial intake of 23 apprentices.  This is testament to how appealing the sector is to people looking for new and exciting opportunities, and with the industry growing so rapidly, it’s great to see this level of appetite.
Since Global Energy Group took over the Nigg Yard in 2011, they have identified a demand for up to 2,000 people over the next few years to help them to deliver contracts in the oil and gas and renewable energy sectors.  The yard has already taken on a new lease of life, with the dry dock back in action and home for the next 3 months to Transocean’s Galaxy 1 rig.  The major refit will employ more than 250 people and is a big boost to the area, as had it not been for the dry dock, the work would have ended up elsewhere.