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‘Collaborate With Non-Obvious Partners’

Offshore Energy Industry Talks Innovation And Speeding Things Up

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 during 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!” said Liz Burdock, President and CEO at Oceantic Network (formerly The Business Network for Offshore Wind) pointed out that there had to come the time when the industry focuses less on constant innovations and more on building the capacity. 


This is especially 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 this year’s OEEC 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.  


In the times we’re living in, that means approaching projects and business with flexibility and agility. It also means not putting innovation aside in order to focus on accelerating the energy transition – as innovation has now become the very thing that can speed things up.   


While the sector has rolled up sleeves to deploy as many clean energy projects as possible and catch up with any delays presented by unfavorable market conditions, the governments are hard at work on making that possible, too, as their national and regional targets await.  


However, with so many moving parts and with already stretched supply chains, the conversation between all the offshore energy industries, their supply chains, governments, as well as environmental organizations needs to continue day in, day out.  


Now more than ever, the industries once contained by their respective unique characteristics and requirements are brought together by a world in progress, led by new technologies and new ways of thinking. This progress, in the offshore energy realm, means more attention given to nature, industry-wide application of digitalization, and now also acceptance of AI solutions.  


At OEEC 2023, the connection between the different offshore energy industries and the extraordinary number of innovative solutions were at the forefront of almost every conversation and visible at almost every exhibitor stand.


Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2023: Onwards with the sector

Under the theme Changing Currents, the exhibitors and conference speakers at this year’s OEEC have shown just through how much change the offshore energy sector is going – and in what direction offshore wind, hydrogen, marine energy, as well as oil and gas, and their entire supply chains are moving.  


Nature-inclusiveness and care for the environment at large with sustainable, circular and CO2-free initiatives were also at the forefront of this year’s event in Amsterdam. OEEC expect environmental solutions and methodologies to also be one of the main parts of their upcoming events, starting already next year. 


The 2023 edition has also set the stage for the Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2024 as, amidst all the current changes and for a good part because of them, the industries within the offshore energy sector are moving closer together, becoming intertwined and in more than one way depending on each other. 

 

This is why the umbrella theme for OEEC 2024 will be Harmony, through which the goal is not only to highlight the segments where offshore energy players and various stakeholders are working together, but also to invite the entire sector, governments and environmental organizations to take the collaborations to the next, more close-knit level.  


The Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference 2024 will be held on November 26 and 27, 2024.  


For an overview of the OEEC 2023, go to their event page and check out the video: 

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