Offshore Wind Developers Might Want To Consider Working Together More As An Industry.
Competition is good. It keeps prices in check and and creates innovation. However .. with new businesses and industries, they also need to cooperate.
What do I mean?
Offshore Wind is in its infancy here in the United States.
As of today, according to BOEM, there are 16 wind farms up and down the eastern seaboard under development by 3 developers. The developers have partnered or contracted with different states to provide renewable energy.
Each developer is fiercely competing with the other with the end goal of bringing renewable energy to shore. In this instance, competition is good. More efficiency in construction equals less cost, which in turn helps the end consumer. Here, competition is welcome when one completely understands the WHY behind it.
As for cooperation, I wholeheartedly believe the developers are missing the “Big Picture” and they run the risk of individually facing fierce political headwinds. Kinda’ like mowing the lawn when your neighbors house is on fire.
Let me tell you a story:
About 3 months ago, I was talking with an old fishing captain I’ve known for a lot of years. We worked on deck together as young lads, both made it to the wheelhouse and both became boat owners. I went longlining and he went dragging.
He went from a beat up old 50′ wooden boat to a 95’ steel fishing machine. He fished all over the place, caught tons of fish, and as he got older, he downsized to a 50′ steel boat. He did well for himself and still fishes because he “wants” to – not because he “has” to.
We were sitting in a coffee shop reminiscing one day about how fishing in general has changed with more efficient boats, regulations, days at sea, observer programs, politics, and of course, the arrival of Offshore Wind.
He takes a sip of his coffee, smirks and says …“I’m actually grateful for the wind companies. Their timing is perfect.”
You can imagine, I was actually stumped and curious by his comment, so I quickly leaned forward with elbows on my knees and hands clasped together with a puzzled look on my face as he began explaining ….
“Paul, you and I both know the fishing business is collapsing. Just look around. No new builds except Scallopers, the crew members are worse than ever and most of the boats are begging for maintenance attention. For the past 25 years, we have been arguing among ourselves and blaming each other for everything.
“I’m actually grateful for the wind companies. Their timing is perfect.”
Commercial against recreational, politics, quotas, seasons, trip limits, days at sea, processors, and the rest of it. We have been divided and fighting among ourselves for so long, we haven’t noticed the shift in the industry. The business we grew up in and raised our families with is over … a thing of the past … nothing more than a memory.”
Now with Offshore Wind, we have someone else to blame for the collapse and all of our problems. We haven’t been united like this in years and now we have someone else to blame for all of them!”
I wish I could have seen the look on my own face when he hit me with that one!
Which brings me to the subject of this post:
While the offshore wind developers are competing with each other and focussing on their individual goals, they aren’t paying attention to the fact that they being blamed as “The Big-Bad Guy,” and sooner or later some bleeding heart politician is going to grab the bullhorn and make a name for themself. And you and I both nothing good will come out of it.
My point is: The fishermen are blaming the “Offshore Wind Companies” as an industry while the developers are dealing individually.
Offshore Wind Developers Need To “Take The Red Pill” and Come Together As An Industry. Continue competing for sure, but they also need to begin cooperating with each other as an “Industry.”
They need to begin by attracting the other stakeholders.
The “For-Hire” fishing fleet is about starving to death and Offshore Wind can offer them an opportunity to get their boats to work in the off season at the same time they are adding more fishing areas with the development of the wind farms.
Offshore Wind Developers ….. Are You Listening?
If you are, feel free to contact me because I’ve put together a group of “For Hire” professional fishermen who support Offshore Wind and want to get involved.
Red Pill – Blue Pill comes from a well known science fiction movie titled “The Matrix” staring Keanu Reves. It depicts a dystopian future in which Reves is unknowingly trapped inside a simulated reality created by intelligent machines.
If the Red Pill is taken, Reves will see the truth and achieve freedom.
If the Blue Pill is taken, Reves will never see the truth and remain in captivity.