UK joins hands with China for next-gen ORE technologies

UK and Chinese researchers are set to collaborate on five projects to develop the next generation offshore renewable energy (ORE) technologies.

The three-year collaborative initiative will tackle key challenges affecting the development of tidal, wave, and offshore wind systems to maximize their environmental and socio-economic benefits.

The projects will seek to determine where the best energy resource is available and where would be best to implement ORE technologies, and inform the development of technology so that structures are resilient to extreme events such as typhoons and earthquakes.

The work will also focus on the advancement of virtual prototyping in the design and optimization of ORE power take-off (PTO) systems, and on tackling challenges related to the integration of different offshore technologies into multi-purpose platforms.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) are supporting the projects with almost £4 million of funding, which will be distributed from the Newton Fund.

The National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) is providing the funding for all of the projects, as part of the Joint UK-China Offshore Renewable Energy program.

Duncan Wingham, NERC’s Chief Executive, said: “This research will develop the potential of offshore renewable energy technologies, integrating environmental science to provide a better understanding of the energy resources, the sustainable development of ORE systems and where best to locate and deploy these systems to ensure a stable power supply with minimal environmental impact.”

Richard Harrington, Minister for Energy and Industry, added: “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.”

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