Professor Deborah Greaves, Head of the School of Engineering and Director of the COAST (Coastal, Ocean and Sediment Transport) Laboratory at the University of Plymouth, has been appointed to kick start the ORE Supergen programme.
The programme aims to pull together for mutual benefit three related areas – wave, tidal and offshore wind.
Ultimately, it will be a GBP 5 million, four-year project, but Professor Greaves has been awarded initial funding by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to spend six months building the consortium that will drive the technology forward.
“In order to realise the potential of offshore renewable energy and maintain the UK’s leading position in this field, the sector needs to address some significant challenges,” Professor Greaves said.
”The specific research challenges facing offshore wind, tidal and wave technologies are quite distinct, but by developing synergies and collaborations we can add to existing research and expertise. Therefore, a coordinated response from different actors at national and regional level is required in order to tackle these challenges successfully.”
The Supergen programme was set up in 2001 to deliver sustained and coordinated research on Sustainable PowER GENeration and supply, focusing on several key research areas. These included bioenergy, energy networks, energy storage, fuel cells, hydrogen and other vectors, marine, wave and tidal; solar technology; and wind power.
It was reviewed over the summer of 2016 by a panel of industry and academic experts, which highlighted the scale of the programme – that now represents one of the UK governments largest single investments in fundamental research on low-carbon energy generation and sustainable distribution – and also recognised that the programme has had high academic, socio-economic, environmental and international impact.
Speaking about her initial work on the ORE Supergen consortium, Professor Greaves said: “My aim for this six-month project is to develop a shared vision for the ORE community and agreement on the strategy and design of the ORE SuperGen Hub to achieve that vision. It will be important that the project reflects the differences and synergies between the different sectors and I believe the collaborative approach will bring added benefits by sharing best practice and exploiting synergy. I will work to build the consortium and bring in expertise to cover all relevant areas so that ORE research has a secure future and continues to develop new research leaders.”