Innovators are part of the greatest energy success story

9th November 2017

As our region celebrates the third annual Offshore Wind Week, we can congratulate an increasingly self-sufficient ambitious and fast-moving industry which has delivered what it said it would ahead of when it said it would.

This has proved to be a milestone year.

Offshore wind developers have been true to their word.

But none of its progress could have been made without innovation, new thinking and different business models. Without the support of those people working around the country thinking up new ideas and the hard work it has taken to make those ideas work has brought down the cost of offshore wind by nearly half in just two and a half years.

This is not only a remarkable achievement in a competitive energy market, it is a massive acknowledgement of the role innovation, taking risks and having the confidence to make changes and look for new ways of doing things has played.

Offshore wind is a fantastic model to use in education to show how engineering is anything but dull. Applied to developing offshore wind, it is creative, exciting, bold – frustrating when trials don’t work and experiments don’t turn out as expected – but is the key to making a huge difference.

A video made offshore by SCORE grant awardee Alan O’Neill, of CHPV Media, shows the wonder of engineering as he shows the installation of one of the Galloper Offshore Wind Farm Siemens 6MW turbines.

It’s an incredible sight, showcases how far the industry has come in a relatively short time. If he does the same for the soon-to-be-under construction East Anglia ONE for ScottishPower Renewables, innovation would have already had an impact – the next offshore wind farm to be built off the East of England will be installing 7MW turbines, as they become bigger and more powerful all the time

The SCORE grant fund programme is designed to fuel this industry progress, by encouraging invention and innovation in SMEs by helping to fund new ideas for them to support cost-reduction drive for offshore wind.

There has been incredible achievement by a new industry, which, while bringing down energy costs and shaking up future supply, is creating swathes of new skilled jobs, supporting growth in the supply chain and regenerating coastal communities hit by waning industries, like Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

This industry is just going to get busier and businesses that interact with SCORE, for grants or for business support, will be playing a part in one of the UK’s greatest success stories ton date – and one that will be innovating forever.

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