After watching a online webinar for Dogger Bank, hosted by NOF, our Falkirk Team Leader Graham Ross provides his views on how projects like this should be supporting the UK’s renewable energy agenda.
NOF have provided very helpful updates and useful information on the Dogger Bank project, not to mention providing contacts for networking, which will hopefully lead to some excellent opportunities for NRL to supply contract and permanent workers to the project.
Offshore Wind is a very interesting industry which is developing all the time, there are lots of new projects starting to take shape, and opportunities in floating wind in the deeper waters on Scotland’s north & west coasts will add to the fixed foundation projects we see around the rest of the UK.
The future could and should be very bright
With the Government’s sector deal now in place, hopefully we will start to see more local content, not just in the O&M phase but in the construction phase.
The UK clearly has the knowledge and expertise to design and build these projects from scratch – but unfortunately the CfD auction process, whilst well intentioned, has driven the price per MWh down so low that it is now almost impossible for our fabrication yards to compete with those in Asia.
Offshore Wind Projects completed between 2012 and 2014 had a levelized cost of approximately £150 /MWh, this was way above the wholesale price of electricity, £40 – £50/MWh.
The UK government recognised something needed to be done to help drive down cost and created the CfD auction process with the aim to achieve a strike price of £100/MWh, this would reduce the required subsidy for the industry.
The Strike Price at the CfD option in 2019 was £39.65/MWh, this was the first time renewable energy was expected to come online below market prices and without additional subsidy on energy bills, meaning a better deal for consumers.
Whilst a low MW/h price may be great for consumers, we as a nation need to be looking at the bigger picture and understand the benefits keeping the projects here in the UK will provide: Jobs, Tax Revenue, sustainability for small local businesses in and around the fabrication and manufacturing facilities etc.
Not to mention constructing these massive structures here in the UK, where they are going to be based will create a substantially cleaner carbon footprint than shipping them here from thousands of miles away!
We have a very exciting opportunity to continue to develop our offshore wind industry and should be grabbing it with both hands, I am looking forward to continuing to be a part of this with NRL.
If your business could utilise NRL’s recruitment services in the offshore wind industry, please contact Graham Ross on 07789 511 994 or [email protected]