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Miriam Parish

Environmental and Consents Advisor


I think it's useful to be passionate about what you do and have a reason why you're going to work every morning. At the end of a hard day, I think to myself... I might have had a hard day, but we're trying to consent an offshore wind farm. This wind farm is going to power many millions of homes with renewable power. So it's never really a bad day!


Offshore wind projects are so interesting, because essentially they're out at sea... so you have all of the elements of working offshore, working in changing environments and marine environments - but then you have a cable route that will take you all the way to land. The cable will landform, and then you'll have part of your cable route onshore. You'll have to build an onshore substation as well - so you've got both sort of offshore and onshore elements to the to the projects, and that kind of adds extra layers of complexity. Also consenting at the coast, where you've got a mix of legislation between offshore legislation and onshore legislation - so it makes it a really interesting job to do, because every day you could be working on something different.

You're engaging regularly with government bodies and government agencies, trying to keep track of lots of different legislation changes, as we get changes in government. There's always that changes that filter down through the planning system as well well, so it's quite a complex environment, but it means that every day is quite different.

Similarities between working for a regulator and working in the industry... would be that, we have the same goal... so in the industry, you want to get consent for an offshore wind farm, want to build an offshore wind farm. As a regulator, you know you receive applications to review and consent offshore wind farms- that's your goal, we're all working towards the same goal, we're all working in the renewable energy industry, we want to create renewable Power - so the goals are the same. But I would say in terms of the differences, probably coming from different contexts and different remits... so different organizations having a different context in terms of what they're looking at and what they're looking for and to consent and ways to build an offshore wind farm could be slightly different... there could be different views between the regulator and between industry partners. It's really useful to have worked in both areas because there are so many similarities, and it also helps to understand where each organization is coming from, and the context behind decisions that are made... the context behind advice that's given.

We need all sorts of people with all sorts of backgrounds. We don't necessarily need specific academic qualifications to get into offshore wind or offshore wind consenting. It's just really important that we have people with lots of different opinions from different backgrounds, who are passionate about the renewable energy industry. I think the main thing that we need is passion and determination to make a difference.

Sometimes the job can be quite hard... so I think it's so useful to be passionate about about what you want to do and have to have a reason of why you're going to work every morning... especially if you've had a hard day, you know at the end of the day I think to myself - I might have had a hard day we're trying to consent an offshore wind farm. This wind farm is going to power many millions of homes with renewable power so it's never really a bad day!

I think it's useful to gain some work experience. For example, while you're at University studying a degree, it's always good to try and get some work experience. It doesn't necessarily have to be in the offshore wind industry, but practicing key skills like working in a team, or writing, summarizing topics. But lastly, just passion and drive and willingness to get involved! The willingness to work, to come to work with a positive attitude, I think helps a lot.

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