Offshore safety professionals have acknowledged that there is a requirement for wind-specific regulations to prevent accidents when developing farshore wind installations.
LONDON - 04/05/2011
Many offshore safety experts are of the opinion that the rapid increase in farshore installations is going to push existing regulations, many of which originated from the oil and gas sector, to the limit.
This comes at a time when the industry is preparing to ramp up construction for the new Round 3 consented wind farms off the UK coast, with the aim of contributing a significant amount to the EU target of 20GW of renewable power generated by 2020. It is widely seen that now is an important time to be establishing best safety practise for the future.
Lars Odby, a Siemens Safety Specialist who works with the Global Wind Organisation collaboration, believes that unique solutions will have to be formulated. “We have being looking in to what has been done in the oil and gas industry, but have found that we need to create our own standard” he states.
One organisation that is instrumental in ensuring the safety of personnel offshore is the Marine Coastguard Agency. As an executive agency of the UK government's Department for Transport, it is involved in the consents process for offshore energy installations. Paul Wilkins, International Relations Manager for the MCA, also acknowledges that “renewable [energy offshore] has different risks compared to oil and gas”.
These issues will be of key importance at the upcoming Offshore Wind Health and Safety Conference, scheduled for the 1st of June in London. Seen as a premier networking event for the decision-makers from developers and operators, key knowledge will be shared to establish industry wide solutions for the future of offshore wind safety.
To get more information on Bond Pearce LLP, CMS Cameron Mackenna LLP and more speaking on critical regulatory and legislative issues, visit www.windenergyupdate.com/offshorewindhealthandsafety
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Offshore wind specialists in Europe are under constant scrutiny as they attempt to achieve relatively shorter construction periods with new projects that are coming online. In this context, the role of the chosen port and vessel technology is of paramount importance.