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NOF Strategic Partners gather to discuss energy transition challenges and opportunities for the supply chain

Some of the energy industry’s biggest players came together at a meeting organised by NOF, to discuss working in what is undoubtedly a changing energy landscape and to look at engagement levels with the supply chain as the energy transition progresses.

The Strategic Partner Engagement meeting saw contributions from senior representatives from companies including Bp, Orsted, Equinor, GE, Petrofac, Wood and px Group to name but a few, insights were given into the opportunities and challenges faced by businesses in meeting energy transition targets and net zero ambitions.

A key focus was on the role of the UK supply chain in shaping net zero plans while simultaneously unlocking potential and value for low carbon market growth.

Key highlights:

  • The offshore wind industry attracted in depth debate, there is a developed and deep understanding of the challenges this sector faces and lessons learnt will be critical for the development of both floating offshore wind and the emerging hydrogen and carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) supply chains.
  • Recognition that increased government ambition across multiple energy industries will lead to pinch points in supply chains.
  • The concern is that industries with high profitability or rates will outbid or compete with others limiting the build out in these sectors.
  • Increased demands for products and services will put pressure on projects as companies compete for supply chain capacity.
  • Identifying skillset requirements and available talent pool accompanied by adequate training will be vital to meet project timelines.
  • Collaborations and partnerships are needed across project developers, suppliers, and policy regulators to ensure value for the UK supply chain is a priority without restricting the development pace in new sectors.
  • A challenge in the offshore wind sector is the current bidding and contracting structure limiting innovation and quicker deployment because of a focus on lowest cost. To overcome this mindset, as new opportunities, emerge, supplier innovation and communication to developers needs to be supported through even more workshops and innovation programmes.
  • Environmental, social and governance (ESG) compliance and demonstration currently varies between developments with tender requests giving limited visibility on their importance in evaluation criteria. It is suggested that expectations and tender conditions are formulated to prevent the supply chain expending excessive resources in the tendering process.
  • Joanne Leng MBE, Chief Executive of NOF, the UK business development organisation for the energy sectors, said: “The energy sector is at a pivotal moment and companies at all levels of the supply chain can contribute to the increasing pace of transition towards low carbon solutions alongside the energy supply issues facing countries around the world.

“NOF has a key role to play in helping forge relationships and interactions within the energy sector that help influence innovative solutions to mitigate challenges and risk, simplify processes, enhance opportunities, and improve abilities to achieve business and net zero goals.

“The sector needs to be agile, proactive, and adaptive, particularly at a time when a change in government leadership could drive a change of emphasis or pace in the country’s energy policies.

“The feedback from this meeting with some of industry’s leading figures comes at a critical time in the climate change timetable. It also reinforced the message that the supply chain is fundamental to the success of projects and helping the industry change to meet new demands.

“NOF will continue to work with our Strategic Partners and wider supply chain to give them a collective voice, to help navigate the changing energy landscape, to steer how we best provide support to members to ensure they capitalise on emerging opportunities in the most effective and efficient manner.”

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Joanne Leng MBE, Chief Executive NOF

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