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Intelligent & Resilient Ocean Engineering – Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging TechnologiesNews and Events

Chair in Emerging Technologies, Susan Gourvenec, publishes article on The Conversation on how emerging technologies can help floating wind farms be the future of green electricity

Published: 3 August 2020
First floating wind farm
The world’s first floating wind farm, Hywind Scotland. Terje Aase/Shutterstock

Read Susan’s article on The Conversation in which she sets out how massive up-scaling of offshore wind is needed to contribute meaningfully to zero emissions targets, and how emerging technologies can enable the necessary cost reductions.

Since 2010, wind energy has seen sustained growth worldwide, with the amount of energy generated by offshore wind increasing by nearly 30% each year, but still offshore wind currently provides less than 1% of the world’s electricity supply and electricity currently comprises less than 20% of global energy demand.

Future electricity demand is set to increase at a rate far outstripping population growth due to increasing wealth of the global population and to generate clean electricity for future liquid fuels to replace hydrocarbons for e.g. aerospace, automotive and maritime transport.

Offshore engineering practices has evolved for hydrocarbon extraction where a single platform can produce a lot more energy than a single offshore wind turbine (by a factor of a 1000 or so) – such that the cost of designing, installing, maintaining and decommissioning – must be reduced by a similar factor.

A lot can be learned from traditional offshore engineering to help with the transition to renewable energy, but the necessary cost reductions cannot be achieved by doing more of the same, or sharpening the efficiency of existing methods and technologies.

Emerging technologies embedded in intelligent and resilient ocean engineering offer the potential for transforming the challenges at each stage of the engineered life of offshore structures to provide the necessary cost-reductions to enable massive upscaling of offshore wind.

Read the full article here.

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