By Alan Cameron, General Manager, Unique Group (UK office)
The UK offshore wind industry has been on a steep learning curve since the first offshore project kicked off in 2000 and to date, lessons continue to be learnt from current projects. Massive investments in this sector are predicted over the course of the next few years to the run up of 2030, in line with the global renewables industry aspirations.
The survey industry has also seen a paradigm shift in the process of conducting site surveys. Originally “standard” oil and gas industry site surveys were considered suitable, however, over time survey techniques have had to be developed to meet the demands of these sites, and to provide accurate data that helps manage risk. Since every site is different, a wide range of disciplines are required to perform surveys to establish the potential energy available and the challenges of construction and operation of the site. Studying the environmental conditions and energy availability is quintessential to the overall success of the renewable project.
With the industry seeing advancements in technology coupled with governmental support and key investments, Europe is now at the center of the renewables industry. Technologies and equipment developed for European projects are now being transferred to other new renewable sites worldwide. Key European operators in the renewables industry are hopeful of a promising global future for their products and sustainable technologies. Continual development of products and services to a high specification and tolerance will be required to remain competitive.
Unique Group is continually investing in newer technologies that specifically meets the changing needs of the renewables industry amid a gradually waning oil & gas market. Parametric Sub Bottom Profilers, ultra-high resolution Multibeams, Sidescans and many Geometrics Magnetometers have been purchased recently at a time when other companies are slashing their CAPEX budgets. Further development plans will include Ultra High-Resolution Seismic equipment and Geotechnical CPTs.
With strategic initiatives in place to embrace a cleaner planet, Unique Group is ready for the future and is hopeful that the demand for “renewable” equipment will continue. Challenges are forthcoming, however, an open-minded approach will help Unique Group to develop opportunities with forward-thinking suppliers and manufacturers.