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Off-shore Renewable Energy Conversion platforms – Coordination Action

Off-shore Renewable Energy Conversion platforms – Coordination Action

Moving offshore presents particular challenges to the wind energy industry but also many advantages. The higher wind resources at offshore sites and greater persistence of winds in power generating classes, coupled with avoidance of many land use conflicts, means that offshore wind is set to develop in a significant way; and the potential offshore market is the main driver for large turbine technology development.

However there are major drawbacks and restrictions mainly due to the limited availability of shallow waters and the criticism of stakeholders about the social and environmental impacts at the construction sites. One of the major issues is the visual impact from the coast. Similar benefits apply to the ocean energy sector. Deep offshore sites, which require floating or fully submerged structures, offer far better wave energy resources and cause no visual intrusion. However many first wave generation technologies have been designed for shoreline or near shore installations, where devices can be installed in shallow water or at the shore but wave power has dropped significantly.

In contrast to the wind energy sector, present wave energy technology shows a wide variety of systems, at different stages of development, competing against each other. The development from the concept to the commercial stage is a difficult, time consuming and expensive process. The concept of ORECCA project is to combine resource information from wind and other ocean energy sectors – in particular wave energy and to review and benchmark existing technologies in the oil and gas sector, in the offshore wind sector and in the wave and tidal energy sector, in order to identify siting synergies with respect to shared areas and grid connection etc. and technological synergies with respect to structural integration of e.g. a wave energy device into a fixed or floating wind turbine.

A common approach for the exploitation of wind, wave and other ocean energy resources should have the potential to accelerate the offshore market development and to reduce the overall cost for the energetic exploitation of the oceans and seas. The project focuses on establishing the state of research, technological development and demonstration activities on off-shore renewable energy conversion platforms and on the definition of strategic priorities, including socio economics aspects, for the development of off-shore renewable energy conversion (OREC) technologies and markets.



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