ENERGY – its generation and consumption and the impact this has on the environment, is at the forefront of everyone’s minds these days. Nigel Williams, a partner in the energy practice at the region’s leading law firm, Dickinson Dees, believes the generation of energy from renewable sources represents a massive opportunity for the region.
“Here in the North East we have a unique range of resources,” he said. “For one thing we are ideally located in terms of being adjacent to many of the North Sea offshore wind developments. We also have the necessary infrastructure in the commercial ports situated on the rivers Tyne, Tees, Wear and Blyth and, finally, we have transferrable skills developed over years in the shipping, offshore and process sectors.”
The renewables team at Dickinson Dees has been advising clients on renewable energy projects for many years, prospering and developing along with the sector as it has matured. Working with a variety of clients in the sector, the firm has advised on a number of large projects in the region for clients such as Sembcorp Utilities and MGT Power.
Dickinson Dees also advises on wind and bioresources projects, and has developed a market leading expertise in solar PV schemes acting for clients such as Bellway, one of the UK’s largest house builders.
In order for an energy project to come to fruition, the involvement of numerous parties and experts is required. As a result, opportunities for suppliers to the industry from supply chain to accountants and law firms to developers, are steadily increasing and represent huge potential for the region’s economy.
“On any given project we advise from project inception through to grid connection and operation – be it project finance, planning or property matters, supply chain arrangements, grid or offtake terms or the regulatory regime which applies to that specific sector,” said Mr Williams.
The North East is in the process of adapting its skills and industrial base to meet the growing demand for the generation of electricity from onshore and offshore wind and Dickinson Dees has acted on a number of schemes in the region and beyond for clients such as EDF Energy and CE Electric (Northern Power Grid).
“Organisations such as Energi Coast are now actively promoting the extensive offshore renewable energy sector expertise here in the North East and we can expect to hear plenty more from them in the future,” added Mr Williams. “It is vital we tell the world about what we have to offer in the region.
“The renewables sector can and will expand in the North East, given dwindling stocks of fossil fuels, government energy targets and (albeit uncertain) nuclear generation schemes.
“We are committed to providing our clients in the sector with the tailored advice they will require as this expansion takes place.”
:: To find out more information about the services that Dickinson Dees provides to the energy and renewables sector, contact the team on 08449 841 500 or at firstname.lastname@example.org