“If we are not careful, we are at risk of turning this from the decade of delivery into the delivery of a decade of debate” - Susie Lind, UK Country Manager at BlueFloat Energy and the Managing Director of its joint venture with Falck Renewables in the UK. This one phrase really resonated with me, and the rest of the panel, and captures where we are as an industry. While debate can be valuable for exploring different perspectives and gathering insights, it feels like we are at an industry impasse where direct action is necessary to bring about change or address urgent issues (such as grid, supply chain, workforce and consenting, all highlighted as key industry risks by the panel). When time is of the essence and direct action is crucial, it is important the industry collaborate to prioritise solutions.
At Xodus, we utilise our experience in offshore wind and the Scottish energy industry as a whole to play a pivotal role in driving collaboration which delivers direct action rather than perpetuating debates. I am optimistic that deploying our expertise in project design and implementation, stakeholder engagement, technology innovation and policy advocacy, we can help bridge the gap between debate. Our team is contributing to concrete initiatives, like Salamander, that will help propel the industry forward.
Of course, Governments (Devolved and Westminster) play a pivotal role in facilitating the pace and pipeline of offshore wind projects through favourable policies and robust regulatory frameworks, but the message was that we need these to be stronger to provide developers and supply chain with confidence and certainty to encourage inward investment in the sector. Even with the industries enthusiasm and expertise, like those contained with Xodus, a revised industrial strategy from the UK Government will be a key enabler to drive sustainable supply chain growth, however, at this stage it does not appear to be forthcoming. Without this reinvigorated approach, the Scottish industry could be doomed to rinse and repeat the experience with Bifab over the next decade and I really hope, for all our sakes, that is not the case.