AREG Members Tackle Renewable Challenges

Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Michael Blease-Shepley, one of the speakers at AREG members’ event

Asset integrity and initiatives to tackle skills shortages are among the subjects to be discussed when Aberdeen City and Shire’s leading renewable energy industry body hosts a business seminar in Aberdeen today (Tuesday, October 18). Leading figures from five of Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group’s (AREG) member organizations will be highlighting and addressing current industry issues. They will also brief fellow members on recent developments and emerging solutions in their specialist areas. AREG’s chief operating officer, Morag McCorkindale, said: “AREG and its members work proactively to exploit new opportunitiesbeing created in renewable energy, and to overcome the challenges faced by the industry. As a result, the region is driving forward industry breakthroughs which are central to Scottish, UK and European efforts to build a sustainable renewable energy footprint in a globally competitive market. “The region’s world-class oil and gas expertise and cutting-edge innovation is key to the successful development of offshore renewables. “AREG’s member events provide a vital platform for them to interact, collaborate and share their expertise and know-how, and as a result ensuring that Aberdeen City and Shire continues to be recognised as a global-leading energy hub.”
Kim Hunter, associate director at Search Consultancy Limited, which is sponsoring the AREG event, will be highlighting the current recruitment challenges that exist within the Scottish renewable energy sector. She will discuss ways in which employers can overcome hurdles to fulfil jobs creation.  She said: “Following on from the Scottish Government’s projection of 60,000 new jobs within the renewable energy sector over the next decade, many employers are facing new challenges in meeting demand in particular a skills shortage. It is vital for the renewable industry that we start to see the appropriately skilled people coming through in order for Scotland to take full advantage of this jobs boom.”  Fellow speaker John Newton, general manager of the Offshore and Marine division at Chubb Fire and Safety Limited, is to discuss safety and asset integrity. He said: “With any power generation there is a risk of fire, however this risk is manageable if addressed at the design and planning stage.
“As the number of wind turbines increases, designers, installers and operators are becoming increasingly aware of fire issues faced in today’s market and we can offer practical and cost effective solutions to protect their assets, people and business continuity.”
Michael Blease-Shepley, sales and marketing manager at Reef Subsea, will highlight the company’s role in the offshore wind farm market. The company provides subsea services covering subsea construction & IRM, installation & trenching, ROV and survey services and seabed dredging. “Although a young company, Reef Subsea has already established the structure and expertise to be able to deliver performance levels usually associated with larger organisations,” said Mr Blease-Shepley. “Our aim is to earn the right to be regarded as a long-term partner by our clients, whether top-tier or operators. We are committed to delivering value to our clients’ projects, regardless of size and scope. To achieve this we are focused on achieving excellence in advanced project management skills.”The other speakers include Donald Brown, who is business development leader, Cleaner Energy & Utilities UK, at DNV, a global provider of services for managing risk, and Kevin Moran who is DOF Subsea’s renewables vice president and an AREG board director. AREG is a pioneering private-public partnership which aims to position the region as a global energy hub with a reputation for delivering renewable energy innovation. Its membership, which has soared to more than 180 members, spans the full range of renewable energy xpertise from onshore and offshore wind, marine and hydro, bio, solar, geothermal energy and hydrogen and fuel cells.  

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