IMCA – the International Marine Contractors Association – the international association with over 270 members in more than 35 countries representing offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies, has prepared a position paper on offshore renewable energy to assist and inform its members on the marine renewable energy market. The purpose of this new paper is to solicit feedback from industry, reflecting the fact that knowledge sharing will be beneficial to the industry.
After looking at the background and scale of developments using the existing and planned UK wind farm developments, the IMCA paper looks at: legislation and guidelines; raising awareness; the market; R&D; other technical issues; safety, environment and contracting. The variety of tasks involved in the offshore renewables marketplace are reflected in the paper, as are a number of relevant technical and commercial issues, including cable laying, J-tube and installation vessel design, diving personnel access, and the contracting regime. The paper suggests that though the marketplace for offshore renewables may become larger in the future, at the present time project finance and industry capacity to deliver may constrain development.