Over the hundred years of the Energy Institute (EI), the nature of energy technology has constantly changed and thrown up new challenges. The EI has always tried to keep at the forefront of these changes and that continues to this day.
One of the most recent developments has been offshore wind where the UK leads the way. We now have over one thousand turbines offshore with a capacity of 3.7GW. A few years ago, wearing an industry hat, I became aware of the need to develop common safety and technical standards and was supportive of the formation of the G9 group of offshore wind developers. At the same time, I was a Vice President of the EI and when the G9 needed a permanent home, serendipity allowed me to suggest a solution that is now a key part of our technical programme.
One key part of any industry’s development is transparency about its safety performance. This wasn’t the case in the early days of offshore wind, but now the G9 and the EI are collecting and publishing annual data which will allow areas of risk and poor performance to be tackled. The first such annual report covering 2013 has just been published and it sets a benchmark for progress to be monitored.
I wonder what other area of the energy industry could do with some help from the EI to pull together some independent and objective safety performance data.