A recent poll commissioned by RenewableUK found that almost two-thirds (64%) of people are in favour of new electricity grid infrastructure to facilitate decarbonisation of the UK economy.

This demonstrates the appetite for renewable energy and the general population’s aspirations to support a net zero future.

Of course, this is just one area in which change will enable the real success of renewable energy. Another will be the acceleration of development in the floating offshore wind space.

Ahead of this year’s Floating Offshore Wind (FOW) Conference & Exhibition in October, we review some of the most recent developments in the field.

Accelerating sector growth in Scotland You will be aware of the announcement by Crown Estate Scotland back in March following the world’s first leasing round to enable offshore wind energy to supply offshore oil and gas platforms directly.

There were 13 successful applicants with Innovation and Targeted Oil & Gas (INTOG) leasing agreements, accumulating a proposed capacity of up to 499 MW in small-scale projects (100 MW or less) and 5 GW of renewable electricity intended for oil and gas infrastructures. These provide exciting new inroads for the development of floating offshore wind in Scottish waters.

Eastern Daily Press: Experts from across the industry will be sharing valuable insights at FOW23Experts from across the industry will be sharing valuable insights at FOW23 (Image: RenewableUK)

RenewableUK executive director of policy, Ana Musat, commented: “To maximise these opportunities and maintain our global competitive advantage, we’ll need to ensure that we can secure a route to market for these technologies in future CfD auctions in the years ahead, by getting the framework right to unlock billions of pounds of private investment.”

Port development also important The latest report published by the Floating Wind Offshore Taskforce sets out key port developments needed to support the growth of floating offshore wind. The Industry Roadmap 2040 assessed 15 UK port facilities and produced short- and long-term recommendations to ensure UK ports can facilitate the upscaling of the industry.

Of note were the need for a multi-port strategy to establish regional clusters of ports that would support the deployment target for 2030, as well as the development of integration ports in Scottish waters and the Celtic Sea.

Recommendations also considered the modern supply chain, suggesting the early establishment of competitive manufacturing facilities for floating offshore wind structures to accelerate project deployment.

The power of collaboration All of this and even more can be achieved by the industry pulling together, sharing knowledge and combining resources to propel the sector forwards.

That’s why events like FOW 2023 are so important. They provide a chance to communicate and collaborate, facilitating engagement between stakeholders, project managers, developers and designers, manufacturers, policy makers, government representatives, members of the global press and many more individuals.

Eastern Daily Press: Events like FOW 2023 provide a chance to communicate and collaborateEvents like FOW 2023 provide a chance to communicate and collaborate (Image: RenewableUK)
So, what can you expect for 2023? Following a record-breaking event in 2022, RenewableUK and Scottish Renewables are delighted to bring FOW back to the P&J Live in Aberdeen on October 4-5. It will once again be a centre of innovation and inspiration for all those involved with floating offshore wind.

Experts from across the field will be sharing valuable insights from their own project perspectives, demonstrating current trends in the industry and offering market intelligence for all to utilise.

RenewableUK commercial director, Garth Halliday, said: “FOW is always a busy event with hundreds of people and teams coming together to swap experiences, share best practice and get up-to-date with the latest news in the sector.”

The programme will kick off with a ministerial address from Gillian Martin, Minister for Energy and the Environment, Scottish Government.

The remainder of the diverse speaker line-up will include Dr Nicola Higgins, Iain Sinclair, Denise Neill, Steiner Berge, Sonja Chirico Indrebø, Andy Riley, Gillian Noble, Gabriel Davies, Ralph Torr and many more professionals from across the sector.

Among the presentations, panel discussions and debates, a vast range of topics will be covered, from accelerating progress in floating offshore wind to increasing competitiveness of the supply chain.

There will also be discussion around the remaining challenges of the consenting process and unlocking further potential in the Celtic Sea. Plus, you won’t want to miss the whistle stop tour that will be ‘ScotWind in 60 minutes’, as well as a ministerial address from the UK Government.

For more details, and to register, visit events.renewableuk.com/fow23