How do you get yourself ahead of the game?

Lauren McIntosh
Market Analyst

Reflecting on #RUKGOW2023 it really feels like the industry has found itself entering a period of uncertainty. We’re in the thick of it now - we’ve made a lot of promises, and the time has come to get into the details and figure out the best way to ensure that these promises are kept. At Xodus, we are often asked “How do you get yourself ahead of the game?” and we spend a lot of time ensuring that we have the tools and the knowledge to come back with answers. but what does this really mean? Getting ahead of the game involves knowing what you want to do and knowing what the options are to help you achieve it. If you prepare yourself and your project with what is and what will be available (be it skills, workforce, technology types, port availability), uncertainty will be reduced. You need to know what will derisk your project, and innovation and supply chain development are crucial topics in this conversation. You need to know the facts before you can make informed decisions.

How do you do this? Although you may not be ready to commit to a specific technology type, you can evaluate local content potential, you can identify what needs to come first and breaking those things down into bite size achievable chunks. You can look at the workforce and figure out who you are going to need and when. You can work with the Clusters and inform SMEs, so they are aware of the demands that are coming. You can prepare.

Further uncertainty comes with the upcoming changes to the CfD. Like many of the issues and ideas we talk about, it’s relatively easy to support the concept, but realistically intimidating and difficult to imagine the implementation. For the industry to shift away from the focus on finances and give more precedence to non-price factors is to step away from the system as we know it. While the change itself may be broadly welcomed by the industry, it doesn’t make it any easier to execute. The realisation of non-price factors should press all the right buttons and force us to make essential decisions. So, is it intimidating? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely. Is it achievable? There’s no reason why it shouldn’t be.

I say this knowing that we are preparing for project, like those in ScotWind, that have never been done before on this scale. There is no doubt about it and no taking away from it, progressing these projects is difficult. But decisions must be made, and we need to start making them now.

With ScotWind, INTOG and the upcoming Celtic Sea leasing round it is clear we’ve had an exceptionally exciting and promising couple of years, creating the image of a successful future and reaching net zero. The problems we are facing now, however, are less about what’s coming at some distant time in the future and more about what we’re dealing with in the present. We’re no longer talking about what could be, but focusing on what is and what must be. If we want to see the dreamy future, we all imagined together, we must start making some serious commitments and decisions now. Planning now, identifying what we really need and acting now is the only sure-fire way to ensure that that future becomes a reality.

If you would like to find out how Xodus can help with anything discussed in this blog please get in touch and finally, Happy 21st Birthday Global Offshore Wind. It was a pleasure to celebrate with you!

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