Leading the charge against climate change
Al Rayner – Offshore Wind Limited Projects Director, Flotation Energy
Climate change is globally recognised, in the long-term, as the single biggest threat to our planet. To prevent the devastating impacts of climate change we must reduce our harmful greenhouse gas emissions and rapidly move to deliver on our net zero commitments. One of the simplest ways to do this is by switching from fossil fuel energy sources to renewable energy such as offshore wind.
Considering this, when I was recently asked why it is so important to educate stakeholders on renewable energy development, I was caught a little off guard. At Flotation Energy stakeholder engagement and education is central to the project development process of our projects; White Cross and Morecambe. We are passionate about sharing our knowledge and expertise with the communities near these projects and we highly value the input we receive. But the question is WHY is it so important?
So, I gave this some thought and here are my top three reasons.
- As an island nation, the UK is surrounded by a huge wind resource and uniquely positioned as an early mover in the offshore wind industry to capitalise on this opportunity. A clean industrial revolution is coming, and people need to understand what this means for each individual person and their lifestyle, for our country’s secure energy supply and ultimately to reduce global emissions and tackle climate change. To make the most of this opportunity we need public support to progress projects as quickly as possible.
- We recognise that we are building new infrastructure in areas that are valuable to the people who live close by. It is important that stakeholders understand what the specific project is and the benefits it is likely to bring, as well as the challenges. Offshore wind developments are green projects which ultimately will deliver long term benefits for the country as well as locally through employment and economic benefits. However, there are also challenges in the short term during the construction period. Discussing these with local stakeholders provides the best chance of minimising these challenges and investigating if there are actions that can be taken to deliver greater benefits.
- At Flotation Energy we mirror the UK’s unique first mover position, especially in respect to floating offshore wind development, having been one of the first companies tosuccessfully deliver the Kincardine Development. This is a whole new sector of the industry that will bring together both offshore wind and oil and gas platform technologies, and which will require a huge workforce. By ensuring that people understand renewable energy development we can inspire people to want to work in the industry and develop the necessary skills required. This could be by retraining those in the current workforce or enthusing the next generation to follow a renewable energy career path in the first place.
Without education stakeholders are less likely to engage with and support our projects and without this engagement the projects are less likely to be the best they can be.
If you would like to get in touch to discuss either of our current projects, you can email the project teams at: