RCG supports EMEC to explore Franco-Scottish wind/hydrogen collaboration

Glasgow, Scotland – Following a competitive tender, The Scottish Government has awarded the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) a contract to explore opportunities for floating offshore wind and hydrogen supply chains in Scotland and France.

EMEC will partner with French engineering firm INNOSEA and London-based Renewables Consulting Group (RCG) to carry out research to understand the technical status of floating wind and hydrogen in Scotland and France and identify ways that collaboration can be encouraged to address challenges of mutual interest.

Floating wind and hydrogen technologies are central to energy decarbonisation strategies in both countries and internationally, collaborative research and development activity can identify new engineering solutions to increase the competitiveness of these technologies.

Towards this aim, the project consortium will evaluate the technical status of the floating wind and hydrogen production components and systems under development, accounting for the impacts of the policy context and innovation programme landscape in the two nations.

The consortium is also tasked with engaging directly with floating wind and hydrogen supply chain companies to seek feedback on existing collaboration successes as well as identify opportunities to facilitate further joined up thinking and cross-border activity.

This spring, the consortium will hold four virtual reflective workshops with French and Scottish industry stakeholders to understand their experiences of international collaboration as well as gather feedback on how future Franco-Scottish collaborative activities can be best supported.

The consortium is especially keen to hear from equipment manufacturers (OEMs), installers, project developers, project designers, trade associations and regional development agencies. Interested parties are encouraged to contact EMEC’s Hydrogen Development Manager, Dr James Walker (james.walker@emec.org.uk), to state their interest in being involved.

The findings of this project will be published in a final report in summer 2021 ahead of COP26 which is set to take place in Glasgow in November 2021.

Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s Energy Minister said:

“Scotland’s Energy Strategy recognises the importance of working with international partners to better understand our transition to a net zero economy and energy system. In the run-up to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change conference (COP26) in Glasgow later this year, we have an opportunity to increase public awareness around the climate emergency we all face.

“This project, which sees collaboration between Scotland and our friends in France, is in line with our international energy engagement priorities for both hydrogen and offshore wind and will help to support our efforts to develop new renewable energy solutions. I very much look forward to seeing its outcomes and to utilising its findings to inform further evolution of our energy policy as we ramp up our ambition and seek to harness exciting new opportunities as we expand offshore wind in Scotland.”

Within the project consortium, EMEC bring extensive marine energy and hydrogen expertise and are well connected in the relevant Scottish supply chains. INNOSEA bring a strong French perspective to this research project and have worked with EMEC previously to support marine energy developers in Scotland, France and further afield to identify new opportunities, especially in hydrogen. RCG are leaders in floating wind and will lead in this project on the stakeholder engagement aspects, working to collate feedback from industry partners.

Dr James Walker, Hydrogen Development Manager at EMEC, said:

“International collaboration and dissemination of lessons learned in innovation are integral to seeing progress in the development of floating wind and hydrogen production technologies. Both are also key aspects of EMEC’s work in testing and demonstrating the energy system of the future and we are delighted to be bringing this experience to support delivering this project.

“We look forward to working with INNOSEA and RCG, and to engaging with a broad range of industry stakeholders in Scotland and France to develop recommendations for the Scottish Government on means of best supporting collaborative innovation in these sectors.”

Hakim Mouslim, Chief Executive Officer at INNOSEA, said:

“Working with international partners in the transfer and integration of expertise in different marine renewable sources is very much at the heart of our work at INNOSEA. We understand that achieving our shared goals on climate change goes far beyond traditional thinking on renewable energy. Achieving net zero is a global endeavour, and we are really honoured to join EMEC and the RCG to accelerate learning and innovation in floating wind for green hydrogen production.”

Dan Kyle Spearman, Associate Director and Floating Wind Lead at RCG, said:

“Exploring new engineering solutions for floating wind linked to green hydrogen production is going to be an important innovation for the energy transition. I look forward to working with EMEC and INNOSEA to identify opportunities and challenges. I’m excited to work in this collaboration between industry and government and in particular working with the Scottish and French supply chains to accelerate these promising technologies.”




Further information on EMEC can be found here:




The Scottish Government

Further information on the project and the call for tender is available here:


The Scottish Government Office in Paris is part of a network of Scottish Government Offices abroad, whose objectives are to promote innovation and investment and to strengthen cultural and economic links between Scotland and France. Further information here:


The 26th UN Climate Change Conference will take place in November 2021, at the Scottish Event Campus (SEC) in Glasgow.

More information on Scotland’s Energy Strategy can be found here:


Glasgow, Scotland – The Renewables Consulting Group (RCG), a sector specialist advisory firm, has announced the appointment of David Banks to boost the firm’s technical due diligence and lender’s technical advisory services offerings for onshore wind.

As the global development of onshore wind farms continues, so too has the demand for technical due diligence and lender’s technical advisory services. In response, the appointment of Banks brings a wealth of experience for the benefit of our clients.

RCG’s independent technical advisors identify risk in projects through market-leading due diligence, to help clients make sound investment decisions. This applies to for both onshore and offshore wind assignments, with no geographical restriction.

With a deep background in onshore technical due diligence, Banks has taken leadership roles in more than 40 international assignments, including vendor, acquisition and pre-financial close projects for both single site and large complex portfolios.

Before RCG, Banks oversaw the day-to-day management and delivery of several land-based construction monitoring projects. These assignments afforded Banks a specialist’s knowledge in wind farm operation, technology and construction.

Commenting on the appointment, Andrew Cole, RCG’s Managing Director – Europe, Middle East & Africa said:

“We are delighted that David has joined our team. From carrying out turbine inspections and attending sites during construction, David is keenly aware of the wide-ranging issues which arise during all stages of a project. His vast technical advisory experience with developers, sponsors, and lenders on the development, construction and operation of onshore wind farms will serve our clients well.” – Andrew Cole, Managing Director.

The Glasgow office is leading the acceleration of the firm’s due diligence platform and technical services in order to realise its overall goal of providing a top-tier market intelligence, management consulting, and technical advisory service to the renewable sector and delivering long-term value for clients.

As Scottish offshore wind developers contemplate sites further from shore, new challenges come into view. After a period of inactivity, the Scottish offshore wind market is heating up.

Recently, the Crown Estate Scotland closed its window for registration to the Scotwind Leasing Process and the government reported that it has received more than 800 requests for further information, a harbinger, perhaps of expected activity.

Julie Drew-Murphy, an Associate Director in RCG’s London office, expects a “highly competitive” process as developers vie for 17 Draft Plan Options or zones from which developers will identify sites to build.

According to the Scottish Government’s draft Sectoral Marine Plan (SMP), there is a cap on capacity of 10 gigawatts (GW). The SMP aims to identify the most sustainable options for the future development of commercial-scale offshore wind energy.

While the development of Scottish offshore wind progresses on one track, a deeper scrutiny of impacts to ornithology and marine mammals runs on a parallel track. For example, the SMP includes a Strategic Environmental Assessment and Habitats Regulation Assessment to assess the potential for cumulative impacts on birds, marine mammals and other species.

In addition to the ornithological concerns, several other considerations, such as shipping, oil and gas and the UK Ministry of Defence, could impact development. Therefore – to mitigate potential impacts – some sites are being located further from shore than existing offshore wind projects.

According to Drew-Murphy, depths in Scottish waters vary widely – some of the areas closest to the shore (about 25 km) have water depths of 40 m-70 m. Further from shore, water depths widen to 70 m-150 m, which is ideal for the further exploration of large-scale floating offshore wind.

She says moving projects further offshore brings new technical challenges, such as the cabling required for transmission and commercial scale floating offshore wind.

“Having offshore substations for floating projects will be challenging as will the dynamic cabling that connects into a potentially floating substation,” she explains.

Currently, all cabling is relatively static on the seabed as its connecting into fixed structures.

In a floating scenario, she says, the cabling will need to have “the ability to flex to accommodate for the moving turbines and substations,” she says.

Then, of course, are the wind turbines themselves. Currently, Scotland has a few floating offshore wind sites, she notes, referencing Equinor’s 30 MW Hywind (the world’s first wind farm using floating offshore wind turbines) and Navantia-Windar consortium’s 50 MW Kincardine Floating Offshore Wind Farm. But those projects are smaller than those expected to be rolled out for this latest bidding round.

Floating offshore wind technology continues to emerge – although, to date, no large scale floating offshore wind farm exists. Nonetheless, Drew-Murphy says the auction could lead to some “interesting collaborations” between developers and suppliers, including potential for some “new entrants into the market.”

She says it could be Summer 2021 before any sites are awarded. Nonetheless, Drew-Murphy advises bidders to be ready and stay abreast of market requirements and conditions.

Contact the RCG team for more information on RCG’s market intelligence and forecasting services.

Glasgow, Scotland – The Renewables Consulting Group (RCG), a sector specialist advisory firm, today announced the appointment of Chris Houston to the company’s growing Glasgow office. Houston is a wind farm development and due diligence specialist.

Earlier this year, Crown Estate Scotland launched ScotWind Leasing, a programme to help support the first offshore wind leasing round in Scottish waters in a decade. RCG has expanded its team in response. Houston brings more than a decade of experience in the renewables sector and provides clients with complex technical due diligence to support wind farm developments, with a focus on acquisition and bank finance transactions. His experience in the full development, construction and operational phases of renewable energy projects, specifically in offshore wind, will be invaluable for clients in the ScotWind process.

Commenting on the news, Andrew Cole, Managing Director, EMEA said:

“We are delighted that Chris has joined our growing team. He has considerable development experience and has also led and supported on multiple complex technical due diligence assignments, ranging from many offshore wind mandates to the acquisition due diligence for onshore wind farm portfolios. His appointment reinforces our commitment to both players in Scotland’s market and global assignments” – Andrew Cole, Managing Director, EMEA.

Chris Houston added:

“It is an exciting time to be joining the respected team at RCG. I am looking forward to helping grow the firm’s development and due diligence services. We are exceptionally well-placed to assist existing and new clients with a blend of market-leading expertise and practical support.” – Chris Houston, Glasgow.

The Glasgow office is leading the acceleration of the firm’s due diligence platform and technical services in order to realise its overall goal of providing a top-tier market intelligence, management consulting, and technical advisory service to the renewable sector and delivering long-term value for clients.