Tackling corrosion issues and developing new materials in the wave, tidal and offshore wind sectors across Europe could save up to £74 billion for developers and create up to £72 billion of supply chain opportunities by 2050, according to two new reports.
Commissioned by the NeSSIE project, the reports investigated the economic potential of anti-corrosion solutions and the development of new materials in the marine renewable energies (MRE) market.
The reports found that based on offshore renewable deployment estimations, anti-corrosion solutions and new materials could see potential developers saving over £14 billion for wave and tidal energy projects in the EU by 2050.
For the anti-corrosion supply chain, the wave and tidal energy markets could potentially lead to over £22 billion of projects in the wider EU by 2050.
When it comes to offshore wind, anti-corrosion innovation could potentially bring over £60 billion of savings for projects, and over £50 billion for the industry supply chain.
Stefano Valentini, NeSSIE ASTER project manager and the leader of anti-corrosion materials study, said: “It’s clear from this early work, that there are a wide range of technical solutions that can be deployed to great effect in the offshore renewables sector.
“The EU supply chain is at the forefront of subsea excellence and we are confident this will bring forth excellent solutions that will see the cost of energy coming down in offshore renewables.”
Henry Jeffrey of University of Edinburgh, who led the economic report research, observed: “The Policy and Innovation Group at the University of Edinburgh has been working in this sector for many years and has developed a range of models for assessing the economic potential for offshore renewables.
“This type of information is critical to get the wider value chain engaged and this report presents a significant opportunity for the EU’s world class subsea value chain to develop products and services leading to high value job creation.”
Commenting on the announcement, Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s Minister for Business, Energy and Innovation, added: “The renewable energy sector currently supports around 26,000 jobs with a turnover of £5 billion, however there is still considerable potential for expansion within the sector and I’m determined new technologies, developed in Scotland or in partnership with others, will play a central part in delivering this.”
The NeSSIE project, short for North Sea Solutions for Innovation in Corrosion for Energy, aims to draw on North Sea region expertise in traditional offshore sectors such as oil and gas, and shipbuilding, in order to develop commercial corrosion solutions for emerging industries such as tidal and wave, and more established ones like offshore wind.
The reports, released on February 1, 2018, contribute to NeSSIE’s overall objective of developing three investable demonstration projects in offshore renewables focused on corrosion and materials.