17 Apr 2022
The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) has launched a series of online modules to support those new to the industry by explaining how offshore wind farms are planned, the consenting processes involved in building and operating them and the crucial role they play in tackling climate change.
The modules are a publicly available training resource covering consenting processes from project inception to decommissioning.
They have been developed by the industry working with Government, Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies and regulatory bodies. OWIC’s Pathways to Growth (P2G) workstream, which is part of the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, coordinated delivery of the modules as part of a series of activities to improve the training available to those new to the industry.
The modules are primarily aimed at anyone new to the industry and particularly those starting jobs related to the consenting process, regardless of whether they work for public or private sector organisations. They will also be relevant to a wide-ranging audience, from students in higher education to people working in other industries wanting to make a career change into renewables.
The seven modules are divided up into a series of topics, starting with the basics such as how a turbine generates electricity and describing the various components of an offshore wind farm.
They also explain the leasing rounds which have been held so far by The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland, and look ahead to future rounds which will see capacity continuing to expand rapidly, making offshore wind the backbone of our future energy system.
The modules cover the planning processes across the UK’s devolved administrations including how offshore wind sites are selected and projects are designed, with developers working closely with local communities, local authorities, government departments and a wide range of other stakeholders including nature conservation bodies and other sea users. The consenting process is different in each part of the UK, so the way that the industry works with each devolved administration is covered in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
This information is framed within the context of international evidence on the effects of climate change and global measures to tackle it, with a specific module focused on explaining how the UK’s net zero goal fits into these efforts. Other topics include the development of innovative technology such as green hydrogen generated by offshore wind which will provide flexibility to our future energy system.
Brian McFarlane of SSE, the Pathways to Growth (P2G) Workstream Lead, said:
“I’m very proud that we have worked in partnership with government and a wide range of stakeholders to showcase in these modules the key aspects of the way the offshore wind industry plans, builds and operates our vital clean energy projects.
“Crucially these modules also describe the nature and scale of engagement that is required throughout an offshore wind’s lifecycle between industry, government advisers and regulators. There are some key challenges for all sides in the consenting process and it is important that they are understood by all those working in the sector as we increase the UK’s energy security and tackle climate change effectively.
“For anyone who is new to the industry or wants to join us, these modules will provide a great resource for understanding consenting processes and the wider context, playing a crucial role in creating high-quality jobs as well as accelerating the UK’s transition to net zero”.
Natural England’s Offshore Wind Project Manager Lisa Southwood, who helped to devise the modules, said:
“We are pleased to have been part of shaping this comprehensive set of training modules, delivering and overview of offshore wind in a digestible and user-friendly format. As the sector continues to expand, these will become increasingly valuable in giving new entrants the solid introduction to Offshore Wind”.
NatureScot’s Marine Sustainability Manager, Karen Taylor, who also worked on the modules, said:
“We are delighted to have been involved in the development of these ground-breaking freely available training modules. The modules provide a comprehensive overview of the technology, legislation and consenting process for offshore wind. As many organisations are now expanding and developing their offshore wind workforces, this will be an invaluable new resource for the recruitment and training toolkit, informing our collective efforts to deliver net zero targets whilst minimising impacts on nature”.
The OWIC P2G E-learning modules are available here.
For further information, please contact:
Robert Norris, Head of Communications, RenewableUK07969 229 913 Robert.Norris@RenewableUK.com
The Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC) is a senior Government and industry forum established in 2013 to drive the development of the world-leading offshore wind sector in the UK.
In 2019 Government and industry signed the Offshore Wind Sector Deal which ensures that the UK maximises the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind.
Pathways to Growth (P2G) is the Sector Deal workstream focused on resolving key consenting and environmental issues that present a delay risk to meeting Government’s offshore wind 2030 and net zero targets.
The P2G workstream is driven by a collaborative group – the P2G Coordination Group – comprising government, SNCB, regulatory body and industry representatives. It is also supported by a director level Executive Board comprising representatives from Defra, BEIS, Scottish Government and Welsh Government. Organisations involved are identified on the OWIC webpages.
The OWIC P2G E-learning modules were drafted, tested and finalised by a team of training and environmental specialists at RPS.