RCG prepares for “huge potential” of floating wind

London, England – The Renewables Consulting (RCG), an ERM Group company, is strengthening its capabilities and service offerings in the rapidly growing floating offshore wind sector.

As floating offshore wind continues to emerge as a utility-scale option for markets with deep-water seabed areas, the technology has rapidly expanded in the past two years as developers, offtakers and governments are embracing more innovative technology concepts at a large scale.

The first competitive tender for a commercial scale floating sites is currently underway in France, while more projects are set to be offered in competitive processes in Scotland and Norway later in 2021, with plans to lease projects in California also ongoing. Development of new projects of over 100 MW in capacity across at least eight different countries to date has shown floating technology to be a viable power generation option in a wide range of environments.

RCG is active with several key floating wind initiatives:

  • In collaboration with European Marine Energy Centre and Innosea, RCG explored opportunities for the Scottish Government for the floating offshore wind and hydrogen supply chains in Scotland and France.
  • The Global Offshore Wind Health and Safety Organisation has tasked RCG and its partner companies Tadek and EMEC, in supporting G+ in assessing the health and safety risks associated with future global commercial floating developments.

In response to rapidly expanding market conditions and client requests, RCG has added to its professionals ranks. Yiwen Lu joins RCG as Senior Associate bringing with her a track record of floating offshore wind due diligence and project development. She has been involved in a range of international onshore, offshore and floating wind projects from UK, Europe, Asia Pacific and North America. Our newest Associate, Max Peel, has a background including research into the levelised cost of hydrogen and offshore wind cost modelling.

RCG’s latest floating wind hires – Yiwen Lu and Max Peel.

Dan Kyle-Spearman, Associate Director and RCG’s Floating Offshore Wind Lead, said:

“Floating wind technology has proven itself to be a viable power generation option in a wide range of environments. It is a technology with huge potential and is about to boom. Yiwen and Max joining the team will further add strength to our growing offshore wind team. RCG is well-positioned to support clients to realise commercial opportunities in the floating wind market.” – Dan Kyle-Spearman, Floating Offshore Wind Lead.

RCG is a leading full-service provider of floating offshore wind advisory services globally. Our expertise covers the full floating offshore wind value chain, from development, through construction, to asset management and decommissioning. We think of floating offshore wind as power at scale – technology with the potential to deliver a global energy transition.

ERM has developed the award-winning ERM Dolphyn concept, a first of a kind technology combining electrolysis, desalination and hydrogen production on a floating wind platform – with the hydrogen transported to shore via pipeline. It is an economic and scalable solution, which produces green hydrogen with no carbon emissions at the point of use.

ERM’s Dolphyn concept, combining electrolysis, desalination and hydrogen production on a floating wind platform.


日本、東京都 – 2021年6月2日 ‐再生可能エネルギー分野に特化したアドバイザリーファームであるThe Renewables Consulting Group(RCG)は、再生可能エネルギー分野のベテランである坂内真人を当社の東京オフィスのディレクターに任命しました。






RCGに入社する前は、Sonnedix JapanでいくつかのソーラープロジェクトのEPCとオペレーション&メンテナンス統括し、クレーム対応なども担当されていました。Sonnedix以前は、丸紅グループの丸紅パワー&インフラシステムズ(旧:丸紅パワーシステムズ株式会社)でジェネラルマネージャーを務め、ヨーロッパやアジアで行われた複数の洋上・陸上風力発電プロジェクトの設計・調達・建設契約の履行を管理していました。


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.

Until recently, the future of offshore wind in Australia was looking uncertain at best. The government had been stalled for over two years in issuing an exploration license for what could be Australia’s first offshore wind project.

The industry took a huge step forward when the government issued the long-awaited exploration license at the end of March. The Star of the South project, located 13 kilometers off the Gippsland coast in Victoria, received a license to undertake resource exploration on 29th March 2019.  This license does not grant the developer rights to operate or develop an offshore wind project but will allow them to begin the essential investigation of sea bed conditions and wind and wave conditions that are needed before they can proceed to a detailed planning stage.

After completing its site assessment, Star of the South will need to go through an environmental review process, obtain development authorisation and then an electricity generation license. These reviews and licenses will come from the Commonwealth if the project is located beyond three nautical miles from shore, or from the State if the project is located within three nautical miles from shore. The Commonwealth regime has no specific legislation for obtaining a seabed lease for offshore wind development. However, it does have a defined process for oil and gas offshore leasing, managed by the Offshore Petroleum Joint Authorities.  Given the precedent set by Star of the South, where the permitting is being led by the Department of Energy and Environment, offshore wind development responsibilities, including leasing could be given to this Department.  New legislation is required to enable leasing of the seabed to exploit the wind resource.

Exhibit: Commonwealth vs. State waters jurisdictions


This is just the start of development for the Star of the South project, but this license may signify an important shift in the future of offshore wind in Australia. Without a clear framework in place for offshore wind projects to obtain an exploration permit or a lease, developers and investors have been hesitant to invest in this market.  However, with the issuance of an exploration license and the promise of a “bespoke” licensing arrangement for the Star of the South project, there is now a clearer path forward for the development of offshore wind.

The Commonwealth has been slow to set renewable energy policy, however, recent positive remarks from Australian Minister for Energy, Angus Taylor MP, now indicate that the Commonwealth may see offshore wind as a significant component in Australia’s overall energy program.

Australian Minister for Energy, Angus Taylor MP


The minister said in a statement: “The offshore wind sector is growing rapidly internationally, but there are no offshore wind farms in Australia. This exploration will determine if Australia can be part of this sector in the longer term. Offshore wind farms could provide Australia with significant new investment and employment possibilities while also contributing to the stability of the grid and lowering power prices.”

Australia’s energy sector is undergoing massive transformation and disruption, so there remain significant challenges and questions regarding the role offshore wind will play in this changing industry. While important local market players such as the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) and Spark Infrastructure forecast strong growth for wind and renewables through 2040, government support will still be a crucial influence the growth of the industry. Should the policy environment remain favour of renewables it is foreseeable that select sites for offshore wind development could quickly become attractive.

A number of factors make the waters off the coast of Australia appealing for offshore wind development including high domestic electricity prices, a strong wind resource, suitable nearshore bathymetry for fixed-bottom development in select locations, and primary load pockets concentrated nearshore. Publicly available data reveals that the wind resource off nearly the entire southern coast of Australia is commercially viable, with many areas above 9 m/s @ 90 m. Bathymetry data shows that fixed bottom applications in the south of Australia will generally be limited to within 10 miles of shore. The location of the wind resource also corresponds with high load centres along the coast as well as with states that have ambitious renewable energy targets. Victoria has a renewable energy generation target of 40% by 2025 and South Australia has a 50% renewable energy target by 2025.

Ultimately, Australia’s shift towards renewables will be driven by cost-effective energy. If offshore wind can remain politically favourable in the near term, due to the strong wind resource located near high load centres there is potential for it to be a noteworthy part of Australia’s energy future.

Tokyo, Japan – The Renewables Consulting Group (RCG) today announced that it is establishing a Japanese business and is opening a new office in Tokyo. The new office will support existing engagements in Japan and serve other clients in the region.

Last year, as part of its strategic energy plan, the Japanese government committed to making renewable energy the main power source, setting a renewables target of 22%-24% of the total energy mix by 2030. Offshore wind development is beginning to take off and the government is working on legislation to support the industry. Significant investment is anticipated in Japanese offshore wind, both fixed-bottom and floating projects, and other renewable energy sources.

To support this growth, RCG is delighted to announce the opening of its Tokyo office and the intention to grow a major presence in the Asia-Pacific region. The firm has already recruited a Japan country lead, who will be in post shortly. Further announcements on this and other hires will be made in due course.  Last year RCG established a Taiwan business, opening an office in Taipei and hiring a local team led by Michael Chang.

Commenting on the new office in Tokyo, Sebastian Chivers, RCG’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“The emerging offshore wind market in Asia is drawing significant interest from international and domestic developers and investors. The opening of our Tokyo office will allow RCG to extend our market-leading advisory services to our local clients and will strengthen current and future projects across Asia-Pacific. The decision to establish a major presence in Japan builds upon our bold plans for continued growth worldwide.” – Sebastian Chivers, Chief Executive Officer.

RCG is already supporting offshore wind projects in Japan. Commenting on recent contract awards, Gareth Lewis, RCG’s Managing Director for New Markets, said:

“Japan is an exciting market and we are delighted to be assisting clients with our technical advisory services. We are experienced in working on first-of-a-kind renewables projects and it is fantastic to be working to support the development of offshore wind in Japan. – Gareth Lewis, Managing Director, New Markets.

RCG’s continued growth means the firm is able to deploy experienced local teams on any renewable energy engagement, backed up by a team of over forty international experts, to deliver high-value market intelligence, management consulting and technical advisory services.

RCG will be attending The Asia Wind Energy Association’s 5th Asia Offshore Wind Day in Tokyo on 24 January 2019. Billed as Asia’s largest offshore wind gathering, the event brings together senior executives active in the offshore wind industry in Asia.

With the Japanese government expected to further stimulate the sector, the offshore wind sector will grow significantly in the coming years. In addition, other growing markets such as China, South Korea, Taiwan, India, Australia and Vietnam will be discussed during the conference.

RCG is pleased to support the Asia Wind Energy Association’s 5th Asia Offshore Wind Day and is looking forward to meeting existing and future clients at the conference.