Overview Offshore Day 2024

Overview Offshore Day 2024

On the 4th of June, members from all over the offshore sector gathered for Offshore Day: Energy at Sea 2024. At the Mainport hotel in Rotterdam, special attention was given to issues that occupy the market the most, like scaling, tendering, finance, infrastructure, and new energy molecules. All needed to develop a complete offshore energy market, with the connected onshore industry to offtake all its products.

Starting with the question of system integration, it was clear that a successful transition has to rely on strong cooperation between all sides of the market. Mark Stuurman put it like this: “Government cannot take all the risk. In fact, leaving part of the risk in the market incentivizes solutions a government could never have thought of.”.

When trying to scale, some processes take time. Regulation, tendering, research, and eventual development. Karen de Lathouder emphasized that working with each other, does not mean waiting on each other. A bit of tolerance for delays and mistakes on the other side means we could all get going now. AS she said: “should we not learn to live with a little bit of turbulence and be flexible, in order to get where we need to be?”

Of course it is also necessary to stay on top of the most recent developments! Axelle Viré made her case for smart, adaptable, floating offshore wind. It would not only allow us to continue the growth in the wind sector beyond the near shore, but could also be a future export sector for the region and the globe.

Iratxe Gonzales Aparicio and Lucia Beloqui Larumbe showed us the state of the art in hybrid grid integration, particularly what is needed to most efficiently connect the offshore to the coast. Hydrogen inevitably will have to play some role, both for transporting production from the far-off-coast assets, and as buffer in intermittency.

Lastly we talked about large scale storage under the North Sea. Carbon, green hydrogen, blue hydrogen, and even natural gas are all valuable molecules looking for a place to be stored. Carbon neutrality, intermittent storage, seasonal storage, and energy security are all questions we’re trying to answer with these gases. But our pond is getting rather small for all these projects. Thorough planning and creating multi-purpose facilities will be necessary allow all economies present in the North Sea to operate in tandem. As Yolande Verbeek put it: “Scarce space creates synergy. Carbon and hydrogen do compete for space, but in the end use different caverns and storage solutions. We should consider all space and allocate it to the molecule most efficiently stored there.”

After a couple of well deserved drinks at the end, everyone left the venue well-informed, well-connected, and hopefully quite inspired to turn these new relations into real projects. In short, a great day and another step towards the transition!

Pictures for a general impression can be found here.

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