Craig Lucas and Huub den Rooijen kicked off the event with an overview of the challenges and opportunities for a more co-ordinated offshore energy system - any solution must acknowledge and deal with the twin challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss.
An energy transition of this magnitude must also recognise, not only the busy and congested seabed and enormous space claims but also the need to achieve significant system transformation while protecting the unique and valuable marine environment and respecting the needs of coastal communities.
Doug Parr, in his overview of the report findings, Doug’s clear message was that low carbon commitments need to be delivered alongside nature protection. Compromises will be required between climate and nature challenges - these are never easy choices but need to be made.
Elaine Greg provided an overview of the upcoming landscape report. She looked at the UK offshore infrastructure connection points, key groups for supporting future offshore network integration and transnational integration project participation. The importance of a holistically planned offshore energy ‘systems approach’ was clearly demonstrated in the preliminary findings.
Jonathan Cole and Martyn Tulloch joined us for the panel discussion and Q&A session. Jonathan discussed the electrification and decarbonisation strategy, the imperative need to act, while still maintaining the momentum of current offshore wind development. Jonathan also reinforced the view that in pursuing net-zero, we must consider the whole environment. Martyn talked about a bold vision and reimagined the North Sea.