A look back at the development of OWC

As we are gearing up for the Offshore WIND Conference (OWC) we want to take you back a couple of months to how we developed the program together with our OWC advisor and partner Chris Westra.

Looking back we asked Westra to reminisce on the initial idea of the program. “Our starting point was to see how the offshore wind industry would develop from 2020. Not only in the Netherlands, but also internationally. There are still so many hurdles to take, costs need to come down, the industry needs to work on standardisation as well as more handshaking between companies and, even more so, between countries. Offshore wind farms need to work together to build a grid and interlink. These huge steps are still challenges for offshore wind.”

“Furthermore”, he continues, “the industry will develop with smaller companies becoming part of larger players. What will the industry look like after 2020 and, to that effect, what will the supply chain look like? So, to sum up, those two points formed the initial concept, one being the industry as a whole after 2020 with larger and more specialised companies and two how the supply chain will be doing business. Most people work on five-year plans and during OWC we want to trigger companies to look beyond this point.” 

Topical discussions

When looking at the final programme after months of hard work, Westra is very proud of the result: “I think we have stuck to our initial idea and further developed it to the constructive programme we will see on 24 and 25 October. The opening offers two great leading players, Siemens and DONG, sharing their insights on calling the shots. Building on that, we are proud to have Gemini and Van Oord sharing their insights on the success story of the Gemini wind farm which was built on schedule and within budget. Reaching potential also means learning from other best practices and Gemini is a good example of this. Of course, it is not all fun and games, our mix of speaker is sure to cause some topical and lively discussion between speakers as well as delegates, from companies such as TenneT and Vattenfall, to those with an objective overview like TKI Wind op Zee and BVG Associates.”

Westra feels that the combination of the Offshore WIND Conference and Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference allows for cross-contamination between both industries. He comments: “In the past offshore wind has had to achieve much with little money and for oil and gas this was the other way round. Now the tables have turned and there is much oil and gas can learn from wind especially if you look at how foundations are installed or how personnel in transferred. The offshore wind industry is really innovative and creative. We will see these two industries battle it out during OEEC and hopefully also learn from each other. As offshore wind will outlast oil and gas it is also important that the public knows more about offshore wind and where their electricity will come from in the next decades.”

Interested in learning more on how to reach potential in offshore wind? Come to the Offshore WIND Conference. More information on the programme and speaker faculty can be found via www.offshorewindconference.biz

Chris Westra, partner and advisor of the Offshore WIND Conference, has over 40 years of expertise within durable energy and wind energy at sea.


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