Skip to main content

Learnings from the Global Offshore Wind Conference

July 18, 2023 Ed Miliband MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero

The second day of the Global Offshore Wind Conference began with yet another fantastic keynote. As with the first day, an MP opened the conference, but this time we got to hear from the other side of the aisle. The Conservative Party has governed since 2010 but this morning, Ed Miliband of the Labour Party shared his party’s vision for the future of offshore wind in the U.K. His was a fascinating speech, full of details on specific policies. I loved the parallels to the United States Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) – Ed directly declared that the U.K. will adopt a green industrial policy like the Biden Administration. One way they want to achieve this is by creating a publicly-owned Great British Energy (GB Energy) company to focus completely on renewables and center cleantech innovation in the U.K.

Centering cleantech development in certain regions was an extraordinarily common refrain throughout the day’s talks. From Scotland to the Philippines to the United States, every offshore wind market was eager to seize not only the benefits of offshore wind as a generation source but as an entire manufacturing chain. Unfortunately, this could likely be a problem. Another common topic across panels including leveraging U.S. ambition, developing emerging markets, and Scotland’s energy transition, all highlighted multiple pain points to fully expanding offshore wind. They cited severely undersized and underdeveloped supply chains and port infrastructure, a lack of workers and technology standardization, and the sorry state of electricity grids around the world which at the moment are completely unsuited to accepting massive amounts of offshore wind.

Gillian Martin MSP, Minister for Energy
Gillian Martin MSP, Minister for Energy

However, the rest of the industry is racing ahead. One exhibitor I found quite fascinating was Cognite, a Norway-based company that provides software to offshore wind developers to analyze the massive amount of data they receive from their installations. Developers simply connect their farms’ sensor data to the software hosted in the cloud and with it, Cognite can do incredible things like create a navigable, 3D ‘digital twin’ of their wind farms in which to train, view repairs, and more. Watching a demo in their booth was like watching the future, which is really true of the offshore wind industry in general as well.

About the Author

This article was written by Joey Clampett, Class of 2025, majoring in Computer Science B.S. & Environmental Science B.S. (Energy Management).