Norstec Students Impressed by Offshore Wind Industry
Beatrice Freeman, who studies Chemistry at Oxford University, spent a week with the Norstec Academy and wrote a blog post about her impression of offshore wind industry:
My week with the Norstec Academy, touring the offshore wind industry, was a truly unique experience. The week was packed with visits and tours of companies involved in all aspects of the industry, from engineering to management to financial viewpoints. Such an opportunity was inspiring – intensively learning about this exciting part of the energy industry showed the huge potential it has. Learning how the UK is the front runner in the development of this industry, and how it is still in its relative infancy, showed there are huge prospects for a variety of skill sets to contribute to this part of the energy solution.
A particular highlight of the week for me was the visit to Portcullis House. Here, a visiting company Copper Consultancy set us the task of proposing to a local council how we would go about getting different parties of a hypothetical ‘Windyshire’ onboard with a planned wind farm plan off the coast of the area. This exercise highlighted how challenging it can be to go through the process of implementing the wind farms themselves, with public scepticism and opposition sometimes being a barrier to overcome. The session was completed by a Q&A led by Alan Whitehead MP, who having experience of these issues, gave us a lot of valuable insight.
At the Mainstream UK offices, we listened to a talk about future plans of a European Supergrid and the promise the offshore wind energy source has for growth, particularly in meeting renewable energy targets and reducing the reliance on a carbon economy. Hearing about these potentials for the future of the sector, it became even clearer why the many companies we visited are so passionate and invested in playing their part in the growth of the offshore wind industry.
Overall the week was a fantastic learning experience; the companies were extremely accommodating and keen to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for the industry, something that I’m sure rubbed off on all of us. The variety of companies we visited and ideas we were exposed to could never be rivalled by any other opportunity. It was great to be immersed into the world of the offshore wind industry – thank you to Norstec for making this possible!