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[Episode #213] – Offshore Wind in the UK

It’s been a difficult year for the offshore wind sector, with numerous projects and power purchase agreements getting canceled. Contracts and incentives simply haven’t kept pace with rising costs, forcing developers to shelve money-losing projects.

So is the offshore wind sector hitting a wall, or merely some temporary speed bumps on the path to a bright future?

We're think it's the latter, as do industry and government insiders.

In this episode, we take stock of the offshore wind sector, with a focus on the UK. This is our second show based on Chris’ travels to the UK in the Autumn of 2023. The first was Episode #212, about the energy transition on the Isle of Eigg. In this episode, Chris interviews two key players in the UK’s offshore wind industry, and tours a Scottish port, witnessing firsthand the foundations for a new offshore wind project being readied for installation. We also discuss the failure of the UK’s Contract for Difference (CfD) incentive auction for offshore wind this year, and its impact on the offshore wind supply chain. And we conclude with a look at what the government is doing to ensure the next auction is a success.

Guest #1:

Emma Pinchbeck is the CEO of Energy UK, the trade association for the UK energy industry. An expert in whole-economy decarbonization and the energy transition. From 2016-2020, she served as Deputy CEO of the trade body RenewableUK, in which role she also sat on the Board and on the Board of Scottish Renewables. She holds several board advisory positions, including with Imperial College and Innovate-UK, and is a regular commentator on climate change and renewables in the media. Prior to joining RenewableUK, Emma was Head of the Climate Change team at WWF-UK; in this role she led a team campaigning on the Paris Agreement, on international aviation emissions, and on the UK’s Coal Phase Out. She has an MA from the University of Oxford.

On Twitter: @ELPinchbeck

On the Web:

Guest #2:

Melissa McKerrow is Head of External Affairs and Policy at Ocean Winds. Melissa has over 20 years’ experience in the energy industry, starting her career in an oil & gas consultancy before moving on to a trading and operations role for international gas generator InterGen. During her time at InterGen, Melissa held a number of roles in Commercial, Regulation, Policy, Sustainability and Corporate Affairs, developing expert knowledge of UK energy markets and policy development. Melissa held a position on the Board of Energy UK from 2021-2023.

On the Web:  Melissa’s LinkedIn page

Recording date: October 16, 2023

Air date: December 13, 2023

Geek rating: 3