Building an industry without borders

Although it is nothing new for countries and companies to invest in renewable energy, it seems like this ‘alternative’ form of energy production grows faster  than ever. The IEA reported recently that renewable energy could surpass coal, nuclear power, and natural gas as the world’s largest source of electricity within only 15 years. That’s one of the reasons why on Monday October 12th the annual Offshore WIND Conference (OWC) will take place in Amsterdam RAI. The theme of this year’s sixth annual Offshore WIND Conference is “Building an industry without borders”. A theme that hopes  to not only extend beyond international borders, but also to break down the barriers in legislation as well as any mental barriers, discovering how people can promote the growth of the industry.

Chris Westra, Conference Chair at Offshore WIND Conference 2015 is a real pioneer in the field of wind energy. He has been promoting wind energy since 1972. For Offshore Wind 2015 he created a program with the main focus on what the future will look like: “We need to think bigger. It is important we work together internationally more often on larger and joined wind farms. All involved parties would benefit when we cross borders.” Chris believes that a bright future lies ahead for wind energy: “Of course we must continue to innovate and explore the potential cost savings, but in the end you just pay a fair price for a clean and healthy industry.”

Breakout Sessions
For fast and optimal deployment of offshore renewable energies and related grid infrastructure, international cooperation is needed on a range of issues. During the opening plenary session at Offshore WIND 2015 key experts will present possible ways to look beyond borders. In the case of offshore wind, this not only refers to a country’s geographical borders, but also borders in the minds of decision makers. One of the prominent speakers during this session is Jim Craig, CEO from Ampelmann Operations. He will discuss the lessons that can be learned from the oil & gas industry. The session will be complemented by Martin Ars, Project Development Manager at Vattenfall, who will layout the first steps to an offshore interconnected grid and Erik Zigterman, Senior Advisor at Royal Haskoning DHV, will point out planning and development areas for offshore energy.

Outstanding line-up
Another new and current topic on Offshore WIND Conference 2015 will be Operations & Maintenance and Health, Safety and Environment. This breakout session will discuss two topics: the best practices in O&M and HSE with a special focus on health and safety and the human factor. With contributions from Managing Director Dennis Schiricke from Outsmart Asset management, Development Manager Peter Robert from Damen Shipyards and Albert van der Hem, partner at Blix Consultancy BV this session is offering an outstanding line-up. The conference program will be completed by topics as Spatial Plannings, Financing and Insurance, (Port) Logistics and Optimizing Stakeholder Cooperation.

Public opinion
It becomes more clear for companies in the offshore energy industry that there is a lot to gain in terms of renewable energy. In an interview with Blue & Green Tomorrow, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell Ben van Beurden spoke of necessity of increasing investments in renewable energy:  “The vision of a long-term future powered in the main by renewables is one none of us can ignore. If we don’t act, global public opinion will be unforgiving.” Offshore WIND Conference 2015 intends to tackle these issues and provide clear answers.

For the full conference program or to register for Offshore WIND 2015 visit