UK: Marine Renewables Play Key Role in All-Energy 2012
All-Energy, the UK’s largest exhibition and conference dedicated to renewable energy being held in Aberdeen on Wednesday 23- Thursday 24 May, is just over a week away. Not surprisingly in a city – The Energy City – where offshore interests (oil, gas and fishing) are so important, marine renewables in the form of offshore wind, and wave and tidal energy play a vital role in the exhibition, and in the major conference, with the added bonus of a special Offshore Maintenance Zone with its own seminar theatre as an addition this year.
Between them they account for well over 30 hours of conference (including a key Crown Estate event) and seminar time over the two days. There are also conference sessions devoted to all-embracing elements of marine renewables; and others where the topic will certainly be included.
“What a marvellous event we have for visitors and exhibitors alike,” says Event Manager, Jamie Thompson of Reed Exhibitions. “Over 580 exhibitors from up to 20 countries; over 300 speakers in our conference and seminars; some fascinating and highly relevant associated events; and our incomparable Giant Networking Evening – all designed with one thought in mind, getting buyers and sellers, specifiers, suppliers and developers all under one roof to share their aims, objectives – and business opportunities. We are looking forward to two extremely busy and highly stimulating days, and news of some highly positive outcomes.” Registration for all elements of All-Energy is free of charge for all with a business/professional interest in renewable energy (no entry to anyone under the age of 16).
All-Energy gets off to a flying start with a plenary session to which all will be welcomed by the new Lord Provost of the City of Aberdeen. Keynote addresses will be delivered by Alex Salmond MSP, the First Minister of Scotland; Charles Hendry MP, Minister of State for Energy, DECC; Keith Anderson, Chief Corporate Officer, Scottish Power; and David Gartside a Board Member of the Health and Safety Executive. Three speakers – David Blunt CVO, Director Public Policy UK and EU Institutions, Gamesa Wind UK; Huub den Rooijen, Head of Offshore Wind, The Crown Estate, and Dr Graham Cooley, Chief Executive, ITM Power will give ‘quick-fire’ addresses to set the show firmly on the road to success in this session chaired by Jeremy Cresswell, Chairman of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, and Editor of the Press & Journal’s ‘Energy’.
Thereafter All-Energy breaks into seven parallel streams, encompassing 48 equally relevant sessions on every source of renewable energy and on the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead; and an equally busy two days in the on-floor seminar areas where Offshore Maintenance and Smart Energy (the All-Energy take on energy efficiency, energy management, microgeneration and onsite renewables) take place in the centre of dedicated exhibit areas.
Following the opening plenary session, which in addition to Ministers, features three key players in the wind industry, Keith Anderson, Chief Corporate Officer of ScottishPower moves from the lectern to chairing the initial scene setting offshore wind session.
This is followed in the two-day stream (sponsored by The Crown Estate) by sessions on cost reduction; the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre – a champion for Europe; the Iberian supply chain – with the opportunity for potential suppliers to Iberdrola, EDP, Repsol, Gamesa and Areva to have one-to-one meetings with the speakers; supply chain issues; and two sessions on infrastructure, cabling and technology updates. The UK offshore wind supply chain seminar, organised by The Crown Estate, Scottish Government, Scottish Enterprise, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise is being held on the afternoon of 24 May.
In the newly introduced ‘Offshore Maintenance – where offshore wind meets oil and gas’ Zone at All-Energy, not only are exhibitors with a common interest gathered together, but the seminar theatre within the zone will host detailed briefing sessions on access systems (both Houlder’s and OSBIT Power’s); marine renewables and acoustic impacts; O&M lifecycle products; communicating efficiently in virtual teams; treating offshore decommissioning as an integral part of the overall life cycle; marinisation for external steel; achieving zero mortality of birds and bats at windfarms; maintenance documentation; investing in OPEX to optimise revenue and protect assets; guidance and good practice for renewable energy marine construction; cable monitoring; dynamic positioning; digital visualisation; and the all-important issue of transferable skills for the energy industry.
Wave and tidal issues are just as comprehensively covered in the main conference, with sessions on day one devoted to the SeaGen environmental monitoring programme; Marine Energy Parks; and modelling for success. On day two, following a scene setting session, others are devoted to cost reduction; technology updates; and discussion on construction and safety guidelines.
Quite apart from the 22 hours devoted in the conference and seminar to offshore wind; and over 10 hours to wave and tidal, there are some additional sessions that encompass both sectors, such as Marine Energy Scotland’s ‘Promoting offshore renewable development in Scotland’ session; and TWI’s ‘Offshore renewables – on the shoulders of giants: building on experience from the wider energy sector’. Then too, with sessions devoted to such key topics as the grid, policy (including EMR and CFDs), finance, and public perception marine renewables will be talked about almost continuously throughout the two days.
Making it easy for visitors to the exhibition “Visitors will be able to find our new Offshore Maintenance area easily, but this year there is an innovation to make finding all our 580+ exhibitors as easy as following a trail. For that’s just what we have, eleven subject specific trails – currently on the All-Energy website, but that will be available in printed versions at the show itself,” explains Jamie Thompson.
With close on 300 speakers (and more in the seminars pushing the figure over 300) the All-Energy conference brings together top experts on every source of renewable energy from all over the UK and further afield, with long distance travellers coming from Australia, Canada and the USA to speak at the annual event.
In addition to offshore wind and wave and tidal, it encompasses bioenergy – biomass and biofuels; geothermal; hydropower; hydrogen and fuel cells; microgeneration and onsite renewables; carbon capture and storage ;and nuclear. And, it looks at policy and topics as varied as the grid (including a session on intermittency); sustainable transport; energy storage (with a second session on the topic specifically looking at nanotechnology); renewable energy growth in China and the Far East; sessions for the farming community, and for communities/co-operatives with – or planning – renewable assets; islands and ‘energy islands’; industry perspectives on financing; frameworks for support – and tapping into Europe; Scotland’s new power landscape; public perception…
So too is the seminar programme for the two new Zones – with the Smart Energy area providing practical advice to companies and organisations of all sizes ensuring they maximise all means to attaining true energy efficiency.
The Giant Networking Evening – and associated events Over a thousand people are expected to gather at the Aberdeen City Council’s Civic Reception on the evening of 23 May which moves seamlessly into the Giant Networking Evening – ice breaker activities help make new acquaintances as further cementing long standing ones; and the whole evening affords a pleasant opportunity for networking, something that is essential in the rapidly expanding new industry.
Offshore WIND staff, May 14, 2012; Image: All-Energy