Well nobody does hospitality quite like the Americans, so there were plenty of organised networking opportunities. These felt a bit like mandatory fun, but did give us the chance to meet people who will be involved in taking US offshore wind to the next level, with bigger, flashier projects.
If you’re desperate to be in the US offshore wind supply chain and you thought it would be worth holding out to AWEA Offshore in NY in October to tell the market what you can do - well you might already be a bit late.
DONG were at Anaheim. And they even had a stand. Iberdrola were there in the guise of their new US offshore wind vehicle, Avangrid, as they begin to dip their toe in this new market.
There were also a host of other offshore service companies looking to get an early foot in the door, but they weren’t quite as exciting.
Otherwise it was a bit business as usual for US onshore wind. In as much as usual now looks like in US politics.
CAN’T TOUCH THIS
Kevin De Leon, President Pro Tempore of the California State Senate (no, we don’t know either), called President Trump a ‘fossil fuel fetishist’ in the opening address.
Which was good alliteration and funny.
It underscored the concerns in US onshore that the PTC rug will be pulled out from under the feet, or not renewed beyond 2020.
This isn’t necessarily a big deal, argued AWEA CEO, Tom Kiernen, who pointed out the US wind industry is 'bigger than the NFL' (really, Tom?) and just needs a level playing field against other energy sources that have been subsidised for a lot longer. Naming no names. Oil.
DIRTY CASH, MONEY TALKS
But despite this, the conference floor was positive. Hell, JP Morgan even sponsored some chairs. And we saw somebody from Blackrock – they’ve got a couple of dollars spare and aren’t fleeing the industry, so that’s got to be encouraging, right?
All told, it was a good event, with plenty of activity and opportunities. Though if you were a developer or turbine OEM with a stand, you probably spent a lot of time speaking to widget sellers promising you their widget was superior to the one from the supplier who pitched you just 30 seconds ago. 'It's a freakin' expensive way to get pitched' as we overheard from somebody in a branded polo shirt.
Ah, the perils of exhibiting at trade shows. However, good conferences need exhibitors, and good exhibitors go about it the right way - more on that another day.
Next month we’ll lift the lid on Offshore Wind at the ExCel in London. It’s not California, but it will be big and flashy.
Ready for a chat?
If this has gotten you thinking – you have some questions – or you want to talk to us about what happens next, then please drop us a line. We’d love to hear from you.Get in touch