Reflecting on 2020. What have we learnt?

Here at Offshore Marine People and Academy, we hope everybody had a safe and enjoyable Festive Period and are taking the time to reflect on 2020 and look ahead at what 2021 has to offer.

Despite the tough times that everyone has undoubtedly experienced during the year, the offshore wind sector has been one of the few industries largely unaffected by the ongoing pandemic. Light has been shone on how robust this industry really is, demonstrated by how resilient it has remained throughout the pandemic.

Back in October, we were thrilled to hear that the government has pledged £160m towards offshore wind power in a bid to power the equivalent of every UK home by 2030. This came as fantastic news for our clients and contractors, as it is believed that this funding will create 2000 jobs in construction and will support 60,000 more jobs moving forward.

In November, the report ‘Future of the North Sea’, was released, indicating that despite long term decline in the North Sea oil and gas industry, it is thought that the North Sea will be able to deliver £20 billion a year from offshore wind and hydrogen. It is believed that this will lead to a net increase of 40,000 jobs and an immense scope for new work.

In December, a final act from government saw Orsted’s biggest wind farm yet gain planning approval. The Hornsea Three Wind Farm has been given the green light to go ahead, with the multibillion pound 2.4GW development set to be twice the size of the current world leading wind farm, Hornsea One. Hornsea Three will act as a critical part in Orsted’s plans to create 400 jobs in the Humber region, and will act as a fundamental building block in the acceleration of offshore wind farms.

And last but not least, the UK finally left the EU. So, what does this mean for the offshore wind industry? Like all industries, the renewables industry must look ahead to form an idea of what might change and what might stay the same. Upon assessing the impact that the EU has had on British renewables policies, it would actually seem the EU has had little influence over the UK government’s attitudes towards renewable energy over recent years. At first glance, Brexit should alter very little, however there are some concerns which should be thought of moving forward. Given that the UK renewables industry heavily relies on European personnel, Brexit could cause the free movement of such people to become a much more difficult task. Additionally, there are concerns relating to reduced European investment. In the report ‘How will Brexit impact British Renewables’, Dan Barlow from Climate Exchange expresses that “despite concerns surrounding European support on Scottish windfarms, there are positive signs that European utilities remain committed to developing the UK’s domestic supply chain.” Overall, the wind renewable industry is continuing to move in the right direction, and it is looking positive that the EU and the UK are still looking to work together.

The development of the North Sea, the government’s pledge and the go ahead for Hornsea Three are all fantastic pieces of news for the industry to come out amidst the downfalls of 2020. Despite the challenges that we have undeniably faced this year, the growth of the wind industry is definitely something positive we can take from 2020.

It goes without saying that wind energy has remained a critical and reliable power supplier – ensuring energy security during these difficult times. Investing in wind means creating jobs not only in the UK but all across Europe, boosting economic activity and building a more resilient energy system.

In fact, jobs and employment prospects are coming in thick and fast! If your career has been affected by Covid-19, now would be a great time to consider transitioning into a career within the Renewable Wind industry. At OMPA, we believe we have the facilities to make that transition as easy as can be. Led by industry experienced trainers, we run several courses with the aim to give candidates continued professional development, to help support career progression within the energy industry. With an extensive range of introductory, operational, and technical courses to choose from, we place individuals and companies in the ideal position to pursue the best opportunities available in a growing yet competitive industry.

We are also excited to announce that in early 2021, we will be launching a range of Career Development packages which include all the relevant training to help personnel move into roles within the renewable industry. The Training Packages will place delegates in the best position to move forward into a specified role and embark on a career within the wind industry.

At Offshore Marine People and Academy, we are excited to see what 2021 has to bring for the industry; there is certainly lots to look forward to – we are pleased to take something positive out of 2020 and really do believe that the future is bright!