On 10 October, WindEurope CEO Giles Dickson highlighted the importance of offshore wind ports in a speech delivered to members of the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) in Tampere, Finland. Dickson began his speech by discussing the current state of the industry and emphasizing that ports are now actively working together to become key parts of the offshore wind energy supply chain.
The sector is expected to grow from 14GW at the end of June to 25GW in 2020, Dickson said, providing a large and long-term market potential in Europe. The value that ports bring to the industry is measured by their ability to follow industry trends. Dickson noted that it requires long term planning in order to invest in infrastructure that caters for technology that may not yet be commercial.
For those investments to be made, offshore wind ports need clear commitments from governments on a steady pipeline of projects for the post-2020 period. Dickson explained that as a response to these developments, WindEurope created a Wind ports platform which aims at improving the communication between ports and industry, enhancing cooperation and supporting better integration and development of the supply chain. The ports continuously need to adapt their infrastructure to accommodate for ever larger components and vessels, and increased number of activities. Their ability to provide adequate infrastructure and services is key to the entire value chain of offshore wind, according to Giles Dickson.
Dickson concluded with the fact that early involvement of ports in the planning phase of projects should take priority for the entire offshore wind industry, which would ensure the industry profits from the best value that ports can bring, allowing them to finance infrastructure and making them strategic partners in delivering increased value to customers, governments and society in general.