Now first up is great news for us all: Joe Biden is the first American president to say "offshore wind" out loud, in public. What does this mean? Well, we now have political support for the sector in the U.S., and the world is listening. What was inconsistent or completely lacking in prior administrations, now has real momentum. We are thrilled to play a key part with our team of experts-in-field. However, this does mean that from now there is a pressing need for regulatory certainty, and, hearing the steady drumbeat of projects making their way through the approval process, makes this requirement even greater.
We are beyond anything in the history of offshore wind, and regulatory approvals can now provide the certainty we have demanded for so long. As Amanda (BOEM) said so eloquently a few weeks ago.
…as we build the offshore wind industry in the United States, we are doing so to not only address the threats of climate change, but also to create thousands of great paying union paying jobs. That’s why the administration has called for a review of offshore renewable energy siting and permitting processes, set ambitious goals and has focus on making measurable progress on advancing projects
Wood Thilsted’s design involvement in energy projects such as the first commercial scale, offshore wind project in the United States: Vineyard Wind will significantly contribute to the Biden-Harris administration’s goals. We are committed to making more visions like Vineyard, a reality. It’s the perfect coming together of policy, people and the will to make a huge global change and will be the most significant in the world.
Beyond the 100 days?
Wood Thilsted are growing and we are making the right steps to maintaining continuity. The narrative was exciting around the first 100 days, but we are also keen to see beyond this: Offshore wind is for us now and for the future of our planet.
We are proud to say we have some of the best minds in the sector and our talented team is growing by the month with the recruitment of exceptional individuals. Soon we’ll be opening our dedicated offices in the U.S., delivering the same high level of service we provide around the globe.
As the U.S. nurtures home-grown talent, there is no shortage of interest and skills from the younger generation, who know it is they who are going to face the consequences of climate change head-on. But we are also poised to see a transfer of skills from those currently in other offshore industries, who see that the future of energy is with renewables. It’s such an exciting time. The target set by the new administration for the U.S. to leap from 42MW to 30GW of offshore wind power by 2030 is history in the making. Hungry young academics are going to be part of the solution. Working in what are now seen as ‘dirty’ industries just isn’t attractive to them.
Development of standards – setting the bar
We need improvement in safety standards; and fast. The foundations of offshore wind turbines must withstand challenging conditions, from pounding waves to strong winds, and forceful currents. On the US east coast, unlike Europe, we also have to manage hurricanes.
Safety of people on the water is the most critical aspect of our design work. Most of the dangers that are faced can be solved with design, training and most importantly, consistent standards. At Wood Thilsted, we are bringing together the best of US safety standards and integrating European offshore experience to our designs. This goes all the way from understanding climatology to simple access; even just getting on and off - and boarding a ladder; all need scrupulous design consideration.
By understanding the risks and how to anticipate the conditions and challenges offshore workers will face, we will be able to meet and exceed those health and safety requirements from every touchpoint.
We are dedicated to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all - and look forward to the next IPF virtual on ‘Safety First’. From industry regulations, insights to what the future will hold, to how we maintain consistency and longevity in an ever-changing landscape