Offshore wind, wave and tidal energy together could technically provide all of Europe’s future electricity demand.
The Hague, the Netherlands [WorldofRenewables.com]
This vision is being developed by a group of industry experts and scientists under the EU ORECCA project. The group will come together later this week for a two day workshop organised by Siemens and Ecofys in the Netherlands.
Increasing depth and distance
Today offshore wind turbines with a total capacity of around 2.8 GW, are feeding energy into the European grids. Most of the wind farms are installed less than 20 km from the coast and in relatively shallow water depths up to 20 m. New offshore wind farms are being developed at distances around 40 km from the coast and in 40 m depths. These numbers will increase further in the coming years.
Moving offshore presents benefits
Moving further offshore presents some interesting opportunities for new innovations and synergies with other offshore resources such as wave and tidal energy. New types of foundations have to be developed and tested, including floating structures. Also combinations of wind, wave, tidal and aquatic biomass are now on the research agenda’s of the larger developers and utilities in Europe.
Involving the wider marine renewables community
A common approach for the exploitation of wind, wave and other ocean energy resources has the potential to accelerate the offshore market development and to reduce the overall cost for the energetic exploitation of the oceans and seas.
The EU-ORECCA project (Off-shore Renewable Energy Conversion platforms – Coordination Action) aims to overcome knowledge fragmentation existing in Europe. Furthermore, it stimulates key experts to provide useful inputs to industries, research organizations and policy makers on the necessary next steps to foster the development of the ocean energy sector in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. The ORECCA network is coming together this week at the head quarters of Siemens to work on a common roadmap which will be used by the EU for future funding programs and policies to facilitate the required innovations and R&D for the sector.
About ORECCA (www.orecca.eu)
ORECCA is a Coordination and Support Activity type project which started in March 2010 funded under the FP7 Energy programme by the EC DG Research.
With a duration of only 18 month it brings together 28 partners from Europe, the US and Canada with the objective of creating a framework for knowledge sharing and of developing a research and technology roadmap for activities in the context of offshore renewable energy (RE).
ORECCA aims to overcome the knowledge fragmentation existing in Europe and stimulate the key experts to provide useful inputs to industries, research organizations and policy makers on the necessary next steps to foster the development of the ocean energy sector in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
Fraunhofer Institute for Wind Energy and Energy System Technology (IWES) is leader of the ORECCA project.