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Ocean Energy Forum - Consultation January/February 2016

Published on: Wed, 27/01/2016 - 12:35
Table of Contents
    The Ocean Energy Forum published its Draft Strategic Roadmap in October 2015. The Roadmap will set out the challenges faced by the industry and the proposed solutions (key recommendations) to overcome these challenges. The Forum Steering Committees are currently developing the key recommendations into action plans. The final version of the Strategic Roadmap will be finalised and presented in early November 2016.

    Background

    The Ocean Energy Forum published its Draft Strategic Roadmap in October 2015.  The Roadmap will set out the challenges faced by the industry and the proposed solutions (key recommendations) to overcome these challenges.  The Forum Steering Committees are currently developing the key recommendations into action plans.

    The final version of the Strategic Roadmap will be finalised and presented in early November 2016. 

    Context

    It is important that the Strategic Roadmap collectively reflects the ambitions of the sector but also that these ambitions are evidenced, realistic and achievable.  As part of the further evidence-review process, the Forum Secretariat is seeking your feedback on the following Roadmap areas.

     

    Closing date for submissions

    The closing date for responses is midnight Monday 29th February 2016.

     

    Next Forum event

    There will be an update on the work to develop the Strategic Roadmap as well as an opportunity for you to provide input at the next Forum event being held on the 23rd and 24th February 2016, co-locating with the International Conference on Ocean Energy (http://www.renewableuk.com/en/events/conferences-and-exhibitions/icoe-2016/index.cfm) at their conference in Edinburgh.  OEF sessions are free to attend.

     

    Contact details of submissions

    Whilst contact details are not mandatory, it will help enable us to fully utilise your feedback if you provide your contact details.

    Comments

    • Neil Kermode's picture

      Having just read the document I wanted to make an plea to anybody else reading this to support it. It is well written and well argued and the recommendations are both sensible and proportionate. In my opinion it deserves our full support.

    • Georgina Foley's picture

      In relation to Section 2.4 it is very important to make sure that the EU test facilities are working together to support the continued research development and innovation across all the MRE sectors. At Lir National Ocean Test Facility, UCC, Ireland, we are working hard through the advanced community of MaRINET to standardise our testing methods and share best practice. In order to de-risk this industry, our test facilities need to be producing transferable and certifiable results on device performance (operational & survivability). This will ensure that only devices meeting set criteria progress to the next phase. We are progressing 'marinerg-i', one of the emerging projects on the 2016 ESFRI roadmap which aims to become the leading internationally distributed infrastructure designed to accelerate the research development and deployment of marine renewable energy. Initiatives such as MaRINET and marinerg-i need to be made an integral part of this roadmap.

    • Stephen Salter's picture

      The present tidal stream developers have copied ideas and design equations which evolved from wind energy where there is an open flow field. They are applying them to channels where the flow is confined.

      If a wind turbine designer is too greedy, the air can flow above or around the rotor. But water cannot flow into the seabed or the channels walls or jump above sea level. If we sweep a high fraction of the flow cross-section most of the water HAS to get through the rotors. We can measure its 'determination' to do so in terms of a flow impedance. This is the ratio of the increase of head to the reduction of flow rate cause by the introduction of some obstruction.

      None of the tidal stream developers knows the flow impedance of their sites. They do not appreciate the need for a high sweepage fraction and have large gaps between their rotors which waste lots of energy as turbulence. They use the Betz equation assuming that the water will exit their rotor at a velocity one third of the far field flow but cannot say where the other two thirds of the water will go if they had a close-packed array of turbines.

      It may be possible to get a lower limit to the flow impedance from a knowledge of the present flow losses cause by obstructions, changes of direction or depth, protruding headlands as well as bottom friction. If present losses are high then fitting lots of turbines will not reduce the flow velocity much. Each 1% reduction will release about 3% of the present loss.

      The best way to measure losses would be from the product of head difference and flow volume but data on head differences do not seem available. I can send people a paper which suggests a possible way to estimate present losses from the distortion of the velocity histogram. My email is S.Salter@ed.ac.uk

    • Alexandra Price's picture

      Thank you for a very informative side-event at the recent ICOE. One of the topics that came up a few times was that of 'prescription'; the concern that the roadmap set out would become a barrier to anyone who chose (for good reasons rather than bad) to follow another route. The response from the Ocean Energy Forum in all cases was that the Roadmap would not be prescriptive, but a recommendation. I have concerns about the practicality of this - even a recommendation, when made by such an authorative group, will be viewed by key decision makers as prescriptive. It will lend authority to anyone who is wishing to market their ideas. There is good in this: it will become a barrier to people who are pushing high-risk low-engineering-robustness strategies. But I'm concerned it also have the unintended effect of exluding innovators. I recently asked a specialist on innovation studies how the evidence-based theory related to new energy technologies such as wave energy. The reply was not to shut down any routes or technologies too early on, as evolution requires genetic diversity.

      There are a couple of companies that are now doing quite well, e.g. Seabased and Albatern, that took very different approaches from those recommended by the technology roadmaps at the time. I believe that this sort of diversity is healthy and should be encouaged.

      An area of the roadmap where creative solutions would be of benefit to our industry is that of cost reductions - both the cost of development and the cost of energy. I think that the roadmap still focusses too much on developmental maturity and is not sufficiently balanced with a consideration of how promicing a particular design might be for cost reductions. Jochem Weber argues for a balanced focus on performance and readiness, and this approach has been incorporated into the assessment metrics for the US wave energy prize. I'm wondering what could be done to encourage more creative solutions to the question 'what must wave energy do to be more competitive with wind'? Is this way of thinking something that can be encouraged by the Ocean Energy Forum?

    • Fiona Gramt's picture

      To whom it may concern,

      My apologies for delay in responding to this consultation, I was only made aware of it earlier this week. I am the NCP in Ireland for marine aspects in H2020.

      I wish to flag the critical importance of the initiative, led by the Marei centre in Cork, which is building an internationally distributed infrastructure for marine renewable energy called Marinerg-i. This will accelerate the research development and deployment of marine renewable energy. Marinerg-i sits well in the grey line labelled ‘Continued Research Development and Innovation’ that underpins all the technologies.

      The EC has identified Marinerg-i as an Emerging Project on the ESFRI Roadmap - it is a significant development for long term investment by the EC in marine renewables. I believe it should be reflected appropriately in the Strategic Roadmap under development.

      Many thanks,

      Fiona