United Kingdom

United Kingdom

New partnership will push floating innovation to help UK reach net zero goal

ORE Catapult is teaming up with oil and gas experts to drive innovation in floating offshore wind, hydrogen production and sustainable wind-turbine decommissioning.

Transferring staff, skills and knowledge from the offshore Oil and gas sector will be key to developing floating wind on a commercial scale, experts from both sides believe (pic: Gary Bembridge/flickr)
Transferring staff, skills and knowledge from the offshore Oil and gas sector will be key to developing floating wind on a commercial scale, experts from both sides believe (pic: Gary Bembridge/flickr)

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The five-year R&D collaboration between the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and offshore research body ORE Catapult was announced today (22 July) to accelerate the UK’s transition to a net-zero future.

The transition of the supply chain, skills and workforce from the oil and gas sector to renewables will be “of vital importance to the future of the energy sector,” the two organisations believe.

About 40% of the "full lifetime costs of a standard offshore wind project" have "significant synergies" with oil and gas, according to the International Energy Agency’s Offshore Wind Outlook. The IEA believes there is "likely to be much to learn" from the oil and gas industry in developing floating offshore wind. 

The duo, which has called itself the Energy Transition Alliance (ETA), agrees. The ETA is kickstarting its genesis with five projects:

  • Setting up a UK supply-chain competition to stimulate innovation in floating wind and reduce the cost of floating foundations by 25-30% by the time each floater is in the water.

  • A study looking across the UK offshore renewables supply chain for the production, installation and decommissioning of offshore renewables, potentially creating 27,000 jobs in offshore wind by 2030.

  • Developing a commercially viable solution for the cost-effective recycling and sustainable re-processing of wind-turbine blades, which is expected to bring $1 billion (£786 million) value to the market.

  • Developing a prototype AC/DC conversion technology that drastically reduces the CO2 footprint of energy projects, potentially making £7.7 billion savings to the UK energy industry up to 2050

  • A call to industry for technologies that reduce the cost of power from the shoreline to help industry eliminate offshore platform carbon dioxide emissions, which currently represent 2% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions.

The ETA is funded in its first year by the OGTC and ORE Catapult, and will look to the government and industry to secure funding after that.

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