CELTIC SEA OPPORTUNITIES
Our course lecturer, Bryan Jones, recently attended South West Wales – Regional Learning & Skills Partnership event – Future Skills for the Future Workforce, at the Swansea.com Stadium.
One of the workshops at the event – “Celtic Sea Opportunities for the Future”- focused on offshore wind’s potential in addressing Net Zero challenges.
Offshore wind is the backbone of the UK’s future energy system and is key to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It is anticipated that £50 billion of construction capital investment will be needed to build offshore wind farms in the UK by 2050.
New floating offshore wind technology will open up the waters of the Celtic Sea to the green energy revolution. Larger turbines than traditional fixed turbines sited offshore in shallow water will harness the stronger winds in deeper water to deliver greater power generation.
The first project, entitled Erebus, is being managed by Blue Gem Wind. Seven wind turbines with a planned capacity of 400 megawatts, located 40 kilometres off the Pembroke coast, will be operational by 2030. It will supply sufficient energy to power 93,000 homes. Two of the seven platforms required with an individual capacity of 15-megawatt turbines are currently being built in Portugal. This is just the beginning for the Celtic Sea project, where there are plans to install 266 units by 2035, with an energy capacity of 4 gigawatts, and more than 1300 units by 2045, with an energy capacity of 20 gigawatts.
Currently, 32,357 people are employed in offshore wind in the UK, and it is anticipated that this number will increase to 100,000 by 2030. This industry’s extensive range of activities in the first stage includes initial planning, environmental and infrastructure impact assessments, design and procurement. In the second construction phase, a wide range of elements is involved, including turbine and foundation fabrication, manufacturing power cables, chains and anchors, offshore and inshore sub-stations, and assembly and commissioning. Finally, during the project’s operational phase, ensuring safe operations, maintaining the physical integrity of the wind farm, and optimising energy generation will be key activities.
The extensive range of career opportunities includes project managers, human resources personnel, divers, health and safety professionals, environmental scientists, technicians, skippers, boat crew, and oceanographers.
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