Subsea companies urged to take up the renewable challengeOrganisations and Associations // May 24, 2010
Energy industry leaders are urging subsea businesses to get involved in the rapidly growing offshore renewables energy sector. "Enormous opportunities" exist for subsea companies who are willing to seize the work, said Andrew Donaldson, Offshore Engineering Manager of Scottish Southern Energy.
Speaking at the All Energy conference in Aberdeen, Donaldson said there has been a recognisable shift in collaboration between the traditional subsea and offshore renewables sectors.
Donaldson revealed that 50 per cent of the costs of renewables projects are operational and issued an invitation to the subsea industry to transfer its skills and knowledge into this newly emerging global sector which already employs 40,000 people in 800 companies in the UK, generating revenues of £6 billion.
Xodus Group Subsea Director, Graeme Rogerson, welcomed the invitation and agreed the two industries are showing signs of recognising each other’s talents and expertise and are trying at last to pave a future together.
Rogerson said: “For the first time I’ve heard a key speaker at a renewables event talk about inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) issues and associated costs. This is particularly encouraging because it reflects our understanding at Xodus that appropriately managed IMR will be critical to the success of renewables developments."
"The conventional subsea skills set, in particular integrity management systems, risk based inspection strategies and online monitoring systems are wholly transferable.”
Launching Xodus Group’s renewables business stream at All Energy, Rogerson firmly believes the renewables sector needs to capitalise the mature subsea sector’s experience and capabilities."
“Subsea is driven by technology, however renewables is manufacturing led, but the two industry mindsets can work together. There are outstanding opportunities available and Xodus will be grasping these,” added Rogerson.
According to Alistair Birnie, Subsea UK Chief Executive, never has it been more crucial for the UK to consolidate its energy expertise to capitalise on new opportunities.
He said Scotland has the highest concentration of engineers in the world with first class oil and gas credentials: “The subsea oil and gas sector already leads the way around the world with a wealth of experience, expertise and technology. Now there is a massive and immediate opportunity for the UK subsea sector to harness the renewables sector both at home and abroad,” said Birnie.
Birnie stressed for collaboration between the sectors to ensure a collective approach is achieved in both safety and risk management.
Rogerson welcomed this, saying: “We have developed a strong safety culture within the subsea sector and a framework of industry regulated standards that help mitigate risk. The renewables offshore environment presents risks similar to those we are already familiar with so the same standards need to be implemented.
“This has been reflected in the interest we have had in our Xrisk web tool at All Energy, which helps organisations to plan and mitigate against risks in the renewable industry from delayed consenting to production breakdowns.”
Rogerson added that Xodus Group is looking forward to the renewables challenge. He said: “We are already diversifying our oil and gas experience into renewables, so we are confident that this emerging sector will see the significant benefit of engaging with specialist subsea expertise.”