OWC highlights Humber’s role in “British success story”

The sell-out conference organised by Humber Marine & Renewables at the beginning of May brought the industry together in an offshore wind spectacular, with plans already gathering pace for OWC2025. The event attracted headline sponsorship from RWE and culminated in the glittering Humber Renewables Awards.

Delegates took advantage of many networking opportunities, from the RenewableUK Connect launch event that continued late into the evening on the first day, to the incidental meetings in the exhibitors’ area. Headline speakers combined with focused panel sessions curated by the Humber Offshore Wind Cluster and chaired by Dave Laister, resulted in informative, interesting and varied perspectives on the industry.

Humber Marine & Renewables chairman Iain Butterworth said that the conference, held at Doubletree by Hilton on May 1 & 2, was effective in creating a balance between celebrating success and examining current issues.

“The Humber has achieved global recognition for its success in offshore wind, but we cannot rest on our laurels and there is much to be addressed if we are to achieve long-term economic benefit and sustainability. Our expert panellists looked at some of the challenges and opportunities in useful detail covering diverse topics including infrastructure, finance, innovation, supply chain and skills.

“Tickets and exhibition space are already being snapped up for 2025, which is testament to the success of this year’s OWC,” he said.

Under Secretary of State for Energy Security and Net Zero Andrew Bowie said of the region in a video link to open the conference: “If this is a British Success story, then the Humber is one of the main characters.” Expecting the region to build on its contribution to UK deployment, he said the Humber would play a major role in the target of 50GW by 2030.
Hull City Council assistant director for economic development and regeneration Alex Codd said that offshore wind was ‘critical’ to the region with the real benefits coming from the thousands of high value jobs that have been created.
“We are pleased to host this event in the city. The journey for offshore wind started in 2010 when conversations started with Siemens Gamesa about a site for its blade factory on the Humber.”
Throughout the day, delegates switched between the exhibition hall and auditorium while gearing up for the awards night in the same venue.
More than 30 experts took part in the on-stage panel discussions and influential speakers provided information on significant developments including the conference keynote speaker Corrine Barry, RWE’s UK East Coast Director for Net Zero. Morten Holm from platinum sponsor Orsted, Andy Sykes from Siemens Gamesa and Chris Jenner from Outer Dowsing also took to the stage.

Closing the conference, Iain Butterworth added that the key to future success was to build on working together: “If I had a £1 for every time the word collaboration was spoken at this event, I could retire. Let’s collaborate, let’s stay in touch.”

In addition to lead sponsor RWE, OWC 2024 secured platinum sponsorship from Orsted, gold sponsors Associated British Ports, Andrew Jackson Solicitors, Aquila, Bacon Engineering, Butterworth Marine, MMS Offshore Renewables, North Yorkshire Council and Pentagon Marine. Silver sponsors were Humber Freeport, Xocean and ORE Catapult with RSM sponsoring the networking drinks.

Support was also provided by Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, The Supply Chain Network, The Department for Business and Trade and RenewableUK.

• Tickets and exhibition space for OWC2025 on April 30 and May 1, can be purchased via Eventbrite: OWC2025 – Tickets and Exhibition Spaces