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Major project on offshore energy announced

It has been announced that researchers from the University of Exeter will be collaborating with their counterparts in China on a project to develop the next generation of offshore renewable energy (ORE) technologies.

The project is called Resilient Integrated-Coupled FOW platform design methodology (ResIn). It will investigate the potential for offshore wind to act as a viable energy source for economies like China which have previously relied heavily on fossil fuels.

Professor Lars Johanning of Exeter University (who is also a key player in the Marine-i team), will have a leading role in this ground-breaking project, working with Professor Bing Chen from Dalian University.

The China Sea is potentially the largest offshore market in the world, but a third of this can only be exploited by developing floating offshore wind installations. In China alone, offshore wind energy has the capability to offset as many as 340 coal-fired power stations each year.

The challenges are that offshore wind energy is currently more expensive than fossil fuels in China. Offshore installations can also be at risk of suffering typhoon damage. As part of this project, the team will investigate ways of reducing the cost of wind energy while also making the supply of wind energy more secure.

Professor Lars Johanning commented: “The costs of subsidies for new offshore wind farms have reached a record low, halving in less than three years. Latest news identified that offshore wind is becoming cheaper than nuclear with two companies identifying a strike price of £57.50 per megawatt hour. Building on this achievement, the ResIn project will focus on secure and affordable energy generation from offshore floating wind in deeper water locations around the globe.”

You can see more details on this exciting new project at the University of Exeter website here.