Successful bids for several new offshore wind farm area licences have been announced for UK waters.
A consortium of companies have won licences to build offshore wind turbines in nine separate UK seabed zones, in a massive expansion of an industry which could eventually provide a quarter of the UK’s electricity requirements. The net result of this expansion, will be the creation of one of the biggest infrastructure projects for wind energy in the world. This major engineering challenge, which is scheduled for construction in 2014 at the earliest, is undoubtedly going to require the specialised skills of commercial divers for the installation and eventual inspection and maintenance of the complex systems involved. Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the government’s policies to support offshore wind energy had put the UK ahead of many other countries. Offshore renewable energy is at the heart of the UK economy’s shift to low carbon and could be worth £75bn and support up to 70,000jobs by 2020,” he said.
Phase 1 & 2 wind turbine construction is ongoing at the present time around UK waters and Professional Diving Academy graduates are currently carving out a highly lucrative career in this rapidly expanding industry. Basic diver’s entry wages of around £250 per day are the average that is being paid at the present time – however as turbine installations creep beyond the 12 mile limit, it is expected that divers wages will eventually increase closer to those paid to North Sea divers working on traditional oil and gas associated contracts.
On hearing this latest news release, the Professional Diving Academy’s general manager Tommy Henequen commented; “it is now apparent that today’s generation of commercial divers are going to play an increasingly vital role in the installation of the massive new green infrastructure that is going to power the UK and many other nations into the future. Like the platforms and rigs associated with offshore oil and gas recovery, wind turbines are going to require regular inspection, maintenance and repair work. This is undoubtedly going to provide commercial diving work for a great many years to come. A proper and realistic diver training program is essential for personal success in this marketplace and because of our close association with the companies, operations managers and diving supervisors involved with these contracts; the Professional Diving Academy remains in a privileged position amongst training providers, where we can teach our candidates the very latest industry relevant working techniques.”