Energy Sector: Energy-Field Services

  • Production Innovation: Automation of maintenance and repair processes for offshore wind and wave installations is both opening up new locations for offshore floating wind that are otherwise inhospitable to manual maintenance, and reducing the costs of operation through continuous, proactive maintenance, reduced manual effort and reduced asset-outages. A great example of a product being brought to market is BladeBUG (as mentioned on Radio4). This can increase consistency of supply and market investment.
  • Paradigm innovation: Automation of maintenance may allow energy-field services – Baker Hughes, Schlumberger, Halliburton – to transition from sellers of products to providers of continuous services, providing new, less volatile business models.
  • Conditions for scaling: Two conditions of note:
    • Confidence in governmental support for renewables relative to fossil-fuels despite macro-forces (and thankfully political risk appears to be reducing as a threat given UK/US trends where investment has generally weathered governmental storms, as indicated in PwC’s State of Climate Tech Report 2022)
    • Trust and collaboration between manufacturers of offshore wind equipment and operators of offshore windfarms as a number of advanced automations require design-stage inclusion, and cannot be retrofit (e.g. railed robotics).

-Callum White, UK