The new network, known as Norstec, includes manufacturers, developers, supply-chain firms, researchers and industry-bodies. Its creation was announced by UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, at the Clean Energy Ministerial in April, kicking off with around 20 companies. With its ranks more than doubled and numbers continuing to grow, the network held its first full meeting in London earlier this month.
Over €6bn of investment in offshore wind is expected in north west Europe in the next year, while the North Sea region has a potential to develop 40GW of offshore wind capacity by 2020 and up to 125GW of offshore wind and marine renewables by 2030, according to Norstec. “We believe the maximum potential can be achieved through working in partnerships,” said Dong Energy’s Benj Sykes, explaining why the firm has signed up to the network.
Norstec will communicate the scale of the opportunity and the benefits of clean energy in Europe’s northern seas to the public and the business and political spheres. Signatories will collaborate and share information to ensure that the benefits offered by vast clean energy potential in the Northern Seas are fully realised.
“Of course we need to be backed by strong government support which is why Norstec has the potential to pull the right levers,” Sykes said. “If Norstec gets this right, we’re not only maximising on a clean and secure, indigenous energy supply but also the economic benefits, the investment opportunities, and the potential growth that these developments will bring.”
Stressing that he is “strongly supportive” of the UK offshore renewables sector, David Cameron agreed: “We are on the cusp of a second, clean energy revolution in the North Sea. Close collaboration between industry and government will be critical to making this happen.”