Researchers from the UK and China will collaborate on five projects to develop the next generation of offshore renewable energy (ORE) technologies, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) said.
The collaborative, multidisciplinary three-year-long projects will use environmental science, technology and engineering to tackle key challenges affecting the development of ORE systems, such as offshore wind, wave and tide facilities, and maximise their environmental and socio-economic benefits.
The researchers will look into the load reduction potential of novel floating offshore wind platform innovations by utilising environmental resource assessment techniques and data that enable enhanced characterisation methodologies with a focus towards localised environmental conditions and extremes.
Another project will explore the potential of using the big data in designing and operating offshore wind farms.
The researchers will also aim to improve the design methodology for offshore wind turbine farms by examining extreme wind and wave loads on the next generation of offshore wind turbines.
EPSRC and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are supporting the projects with almost GBP 4 million of funding, which will be distributed from the Newton Fund. The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) is providing support for all of the projects. The projects have been funded as part of the Joint UK-China Offshore Renewable Energy programme.
”The UK is a world leader in offshore wind which helps us meet our climate commitments while we grow the economy and create jobs,” Richard Harrington, UK’s Minister for Energy and Industry, said.
”This £4 million investment will support collaborative research into the next generation of offshore technologies with one of our largest global trading partners, unlocking further opportunities for projects across the UK and the rest of the world.”
The latest data published by the UK government in 2017 showed that a record 47 per cent of the UK’s electricity was generated by clean energy sources in 2016. Overall, renewable sources – which include onshore and offshore wind, solar farms, hydroelectric dams and biomass – accounted for 25 per cent of the UK’s electricity generation.