Sian Crampsie

Researchers from the UK and China are to join forces on the development of next-generation offshore renewable energy (ORE) technologies.

Research funds from both countries will support five projects focused on the environmental science, technology and engineering behind offshore wind and other technologies. The projects will last for three years and will take a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach, according to NERC, the UK’s main agency for funding and managing research in environmental sciences.

The aim of the projects will be to tackle the key challenges facing offshore renewable energy systems, and maximise their environmental and socio-economic benefits. They include a project on the use of big data in wind and one addressing extreme wind and wave loads in offshore environments.

The Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and 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 support for all of the projects.

The projects have been funded as part of the Joint UK-China Offshore Renewable Energy programme.

“The UK is a world leader in offshore wind, which helps us meet our climate commitments while we grow the economy and create jobs,” said Richard Harrington, UK Minister for Energy & Industry. “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.”