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Wind turbines and their role in the green energy revolution

A presentation by Professor Simon Hogg to be held in the 2050 Innovation Hub at Port of Tyne, South Shields


Most people have no idea just how much wind is contributing to keeping the lights on! The physical scale of today’s wind turbines is mind boggling. During the past 30 years wind power has seen an explosion in the size of turbines and, until fairly recently when China overtook us, the UK was the world leader in offshore wind installed capacity.

And wind could do so much more - but an infrastructure designed for transmitting and distributing electricity from centralised coal-fired, nuclear, and gas-fired power stations is not well-suited to the renewable age, where electricity is generated in distributed locations.  

Ongoing work to modify and reinforce the electricity grid is one of the major challenges for the switch to renewable electricity generation. 

The UK’s first two 2MW offshore wind turbines were installed at Blyth in Northumberland in 2000. These have since been decommissioned but this seabed area now has five huge 8MW turbines generating 40 megawatts of power between them, with more planned. 

Farther offshore, the 3.6GW Dogger Bank Wind farm, located more than 130km off the North East coast of England will eventually power up to 6 million homes when fully constructed. 

As the UK undergoes a rapid transition to renewables many traditional oil and gas energy companies have rebranded to reflect that they now see themselves as green energy providers. Wind turbine business costs are falling, but many companies struggle to make money, as they are still geared up for the oil and gas sector and need support to transition. 

Siemens recently made a major investment in a wind turbine manufacturing and assembly plant in Hull, while several Tier 1 manufacturers have made significant inward investments into the North East. This region has world class wind turbine test and evaluation facilities at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult in Blyth. Here, turbine components are put through punishing stress testing to simulate offshore conditions.  

ORE Catapult built an extension onto their blade test facility to accommodate the monster blades of the GE Halliade-X turbine, which are now being installed at Dogger Bank. Each blade is the length of two spans of the Gateshead Angel and further expansion of the facilities is planned. 

The government has set a target of 50GW of offshore wind by 2030 which will be very challenging to achieve. And the next innovation is floating wind turbines, but these require huge port infrastructure investments, and many competing designs are now being trialled. 

Professor Hogg's talk will address the state of the art in wind turbine technology, and look forward to what is on the horizon. The main talk will be precedded by a short introductory talk about the Dogger Bank Wind Farm O&M base, located at the Port of Tyne, and presented by Tom Nightingale of Equinor.

After the main talk, there will be a free coach tour around the Port of Tyne, where delegates will get the chance to see the amazing port facilities now being used for Offshore Wind Farm Construction Marshalling and Operations and Maintenance work. 

Renewable Energy
Power Generation
Sustainable Development


Continuing Professional Development

This event can contribute towards your Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours as part of the IET's CPD monitoring scheme.

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11 Jul 2024 

5:00pm - 8:00pm

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  • Northumbria Local Network

Registration information

The Port of Tyne is located just a few minutes walk away from Tyne Dock Metro Station.

The entrance of the 2050 Innovation Hub is located at this what3words location:

On-site parking is available in the small Innovation Hub car park:

Additional parking is available in front of the main Maritime House HQ building:

Additional parking is also available behind the main Maritime House HQ building:  



Professor Simon Hogg, BSc PhD CEng FIMechE

Ørsted Chair in Renewable Energy - Durham University

Simon Hogg holds the Ørsted Chair in Renewable Energy at Durham University, UK and was Head of the Department of Engineering for 5 years until July 2022. He was the Executive Director of the Durham Energy Institute for 3 years from 2014 - 2017. 

He is a mechanical engineer with research interests in the general areas of renewable and conventional power generation. Before joining Durham University in 2010, Simon worked for Alstom (now GE Power) for 12 years. He held senior management/technical leadership positions in R&D and then Alstom’s Steam Turbine Retrofit Business, eventually becoming Engineering Director for this business in 2007.

Simon is a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

Tom Nightingale

UK Projects Supply Chain Leader - Equinor

Tom is Supply Chain Leader for Equinor’s Renewables activities in the UK, focusing on Business Development Projects. He joined Equinor in April 2021 as North East Stakeholder Manager for Dogger Bank, the world’s largest offshore wind farm under construction. This involved working alongside Dogger Bank partners to engage with and build relationships across the community, industry and the supply chain.

Prior to this, Tom held various marketing, communication and business development roles in the energy supply chain, including TechnipFMC Umbilicals, and JDR Cables. Before joining Equinor, Tom was Marketing & Strategy Director (Flexible Pipe Systems) for Baker Hughes.

He has won various awards and accolades for businesses including SubseaUK awards, Offshore Achievement Awards, Northern Powerhouse Export Awards and the Queens Award for Enterprise: International Trade.


Port of Tyne

Tyne Dock
South Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE34 9PT
United Kingdom


The main talk will take place in the Port of Tyne 2050 Innovation Hub and the optional coach tour around the port will start and end outside this building. 

17:00 - Networking at the Port of Tyne 2050 Innovation Hub with teas,  coffees and light refreshments 
17:45 - Presentation and “Virtual Tour” of Dogger Bank O&M Base by Tom Nightingale 
18:15 - Main talk: "Wind Turbines And Their Role In The Green Energy Revolution" by Professor Simon Hogg 
19:15 - Port of Tyne site tour by coach including drive-by of Dogger Bank Wind Farm O&M base and Sofia Wind Farm Construction Base  
20:00 - Event Close  



Please register to attend

Free of charge