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EEEGR Chairman delivers opening address at SNS 2023

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26 May 2023

In his opening speech at the East of England Energy Group’s (EEEGR) SNS2023 conference this week, Executive Chair and Opergy Commercial Director, Martin Dronfield, claimed that the East of England is the energy production capital of the UK.
Backed by energy production stats supplied by Opergy, Mr Dronfield told conference delegates that the region is currently supplying the equivalent of 8 million homes with their power, just under a third of all of the homes in the UK, with this figure rising to a potential 24 million homes by 2035.
He stated "The East of England is home to 37% of the UK’s existing offshore wind farms producing 5 gigawatts of electricity with a further 9.7 gigawatts in the pipeline. The Southern North Sea still produces a third of the UK’s gas requirements from 139 offshore production platforms and 30% of the UK’s gas flows through the Bacton Gas Terminal.”
"We produce 0.5 gigawatts of electricity from onshore wind farms, a third of a GW from bio energy projects and a third of a gigawatt from 137 solar projects. We have 1.1 gigawatts of installed battery storage capacity and 1.2 gigawatt capacity from Sizewell B and a further 3.2 gigawatts from the planned Sizewell C.” He continued.
Martin predicts that the industry will see increasing collaboration between energy sectors, integration between energy developers and huge opportunities for the workforce as they develop opportunities across sectors in order to deliver Government net zero targets.
"The conference theme ‘Vision 2030’ is not just a tagline, it is also a challenge and an opportunity. The UK’s net zero ambition won’t happen overnight, the transition needs to be well planned and worked out with regard for the companies and people in our sector.” Dronfield concluded.
Martin was followed by plenary speakers from developers at the heart of the region’s future development, including Charlie Jordan (ScottishPower Renewables), Rob Anderson (Vattenfall), and Tim Pick (Offshore Wind Champion).
Charlie Jordan, CEO of ScottishPower Renewables (SPR) said: "Energy Security is more important than ever and so is the need to tackle climate change. We need to deliver 50 GW of offshore wind capacity by 2030 and the East of England is very much at the heart of trying to deliver this. SPR are building offshore wind projects across the world and we have strong ambitions to build another 3 GW of offshore projects and large-scale hydrogen projects in the East of England. I can’t think of anywhere globally that are doing more in the energy space than the East of England.”
Rob Anderson, Project Director for Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone, Vattenfall said: "The size of projects represented at this event are huge. The vision for the region is to be a superpower of offshore wind and when complete the Norfolk Zone will be the world’s largest wind zone with over 4 GW of power. Vattenfall have been very busy in the region in preparation for the project including undertaking archaeological digs, road access work and nature preservation projects with an aim to protect and sustain the region.”
Tim Pick, Offshore Wind Champion and Co-Chair Offshore Wind Acceleration Task Force said: "2023 needs to be the year of delivery for offshore wind and words need to be transformed into action. There are a lot of positives in the industry at the moment with new leasing rounds in Scotland and supply chain development, plus the Government are looking to reform the CfD process and the dawn of floating offshore wind gives us an opportunity to do thing differently.”
Throughout day one of the conference and exhibition, delegates were given the opportunity to hear more from key developers and industry thought-leaders, on topics ranging from the decarbonisation of the supply chain, the UK’s CCS opportunities, how hydrogen is evolving in the region, geothermal technology in the renewable energy mix and how to build a net zero workforce.
On day two, delegates heard about supply chain opportunities for Sizewell C and the offshore wind cluster for the east, East Wind spoke about the importance of collaboration, recruitment issues companies in the industry are facing and how they can get involved in the cluster.
Conference attendees also heard updates on the East of England projects, including ScottishPower Renewables’ East Anglia Hub, the Great Yarmouth O&M Campus, Equinor’s Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon extension, Associated British Ports’ LEEF project, RWE’s North Falls and Five Estuaries, Vattenfall’s Norfolk Offshore Wind Zone, Orsted’s Hornsea Three, Bacton Energy Hub and Freeport East.

Rob Bush, EEEGR General Manager brought the conference to a close on day two where the energy in the room was palpable, with many delegates and exhibitors buoyed up by what the east has to offer and how a collaborative approach will help build an even brighter future for the region.

EEEGR Executive Chair and Opergy Commercial Director, Martin Dronfield
EEEGR Chairman delivers opening address at SNS 2023