The Atlantic delegation was made up of the Pays de la Loire region, accompanied by three offshore wind companies from the Loire Valley, the Pays Basque region notably represented by Councilor Arantza Tapia and representatives of the Basque Energy Agency, Basque test site BiMEP, and the Basque Energy Cluster.
On the North Sea Commission (NSC) side, Kerstin Brunnström, President of the NSC and Regional Councillor of Vastra Gotaland (Sweden), and Jaap Bond, member of the Executive Committee of the Noord Holland Region, were accompanied by representatives from the ports of Amsterdam and Ljmuiden, as well as the company MHI Vestas and the Wind Skills training organisation.
The morning meeting was hosted by the Noord Holland Region in the port of Ijmuiden. It presented Noord Holland Region’s strengths regarding the development of the offshore wind sector, including:
- Its geographical position
- collaboration between the ports of IJmuiden and Den Helden
- Integration of the logistics chain
- interaction between logistics activities, research, and training programs
- The willingness of the different levels of authority to invest in this sector
- Territorial marketing notably implemented by the North Sea Energy Gateway initiative
The day continued with a visit to the construction and maintenance company of the MHI VESTAS offshore wind turbines. Participants were able to see how the turbine construction and maintenance activities are implemented, including the use of maintenance boats, the remote control of turbine operation, and training and safety measures for operators working at sea.
Moving into the afternoon, the regions involved attended the Wind Europe Annual Congress in Amsterdam. A workshop was organised in the stand of Basque Country Region which chaired the Atlantic Arc Commission Marine Renewable Energy Working Group.
Councillor Arantza Tapia and the Basque Energy Agency presented the key role of the Basque Country in the wind industry, as well as its potential for floating wind energy.
A discussion ensued on the theme of bringing private sector concerns closer to regional renewable energy policies. A representative from Wind Europe presented the issues on which the support of the regions was requested by the sector, including:
- The influence of the regions on European policies to stimulate greater ambitions for the development of wind energy.
- The display of the political will of the regions to develop offshore wind energy
The Atlantic Arc and North Sea regions will deepen their work in these areas at their future working groups.