The offshore renewable industry will be a valuable ingredient in the future energy mix, although it will never be as near big as oil and gas.
This was a joint sentiment among speakers and participants of a technical session titled „Offshore Renewables“ which was held on Wednesday within the Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC) in Amsterdam RAI.
The session was moderated by Capt. Mike Frampton, renewable business line director at LOC Group.
Speakers included Lee Clarke, chief operating officer at the Renewables Consulting Group, Jake Anderson, director at Longitude Engineering, Arend Doppenberg, director client services at TMF Netherlands, and Robert Jan van Hedel, supervisor legal at TMF Netherlands.
The speakers discussed new concepts and proven concepts in offshore wind, wave and tidal energy. The conference also covered some of the „burning“ topics within the industry, such as how the offshore renewables industry can leverage experience from the oil and gas industry and also how solutions developed for the renewables industry can benefit oil and gas projects.
Opening the session, Mike Frampton, who previously worked as a captain on Shell’s LNG carrier and has a background in oil and gas, said that the offshore renewable industry is same in many ways as oil and gas, although it is a fairly new industry.
During the session, he said that here are many countries already forging ahead towards a low-carbon future embracing renewable energies or boosting the use of renewables such as offshore wind.
Answering a question by an Offshore Wind reporter on the outlook of renewables in the future energy mix, he said he sees a „bright outlook“ for the industry.
„There is plenty of enthusiasm for the future, without a doubt… The industry at the moment is strong,“ Frampton said.
„I am confident for – at least for the next 5 years – and after that for the next ten years, that the industry will be at least be big as it is now, and more likely to be bigger.
„However, it is never going to be big as oil and gas… I would personally see the wave and tidal energy still lagging at least 10-15 years in terms of expertise behind wind energy,“ he added.
Lee Clarke followed up on the outlook for the renewable industry saying that he sees „a pipeline of opportunities“ for the next 10-15 years.
However, he cautioned saying that many factors could affect the future energy mix.
„The big unknown is, of course, how the other parts of the energy sector decarbonise over the coming years if we move to electric vehicles that seem to be moving ahead at an enormous pace and that is going to increase the demand for electricity and will have a direct impact on the use of oil,“ Clarke said.
That will require a huge demand for electricity to fill that gap, Clarke concluded.