• 2021 July 24 13:29

    Major £10M project aims to unlock untapped potential of ocean renewable energy fuels

    An innovative £10M research project will investigate the potential of harnessing offshore wind and marine renewable energy to produce zero carbon hydrogen and ammonia fuels.

    The University of Strathclyde will lead the multi-disciplinary Ocean-REFuel: Ocean Renewable Energy Fuels project, which will explore ways of converting ocean energy into fuels for use in heating, energy storage and difficult to decarbonise transport applications.

    The news comes as the UK prepares to host COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, in Glasgow and the consortium includes world-leading research teams from the Universities of Nottingham, Cardiff, Newcastle and Imperial College London. The project is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, industry, and the partner universities, who have also pledged a total of nine linked PhD studentships.

    The UK government has the ambition for offshore wind to produce more than enough electricity to power every home in the country by 2030, based on current electricity usage, but there remains extremely large ocean energy potential which can never be fully utilised by the electricity network.

    Decarbonisation challenge
    Renewable electricity has been a remarkable success over the past 20 years, but the same cannot be said for other energy uses, in particular heat, heavy transport vehicles and aviation. New technologies and systems need to be developed to avert the worst consequences of climate change and the Ocean-REFuel project will directly address challenges associated with energy storage, renewable heat and the decarbonisation of transport such as road, marine and aviation.

    Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde and President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, said: “We are delighted to be awarded the Ocean-REFuel project and to bring together this formidable cross-UK team to lead the way for future hydrogen production from an almost boundless sustainable offshore resource.

    "The University of Strathclyde is one of the country’s leading energy research institutions and addresses the challenges of the energy transition. I believe this exciting opportunity will enable the UK to undertake vital research into Ocean Renewable Energy and establish it as a pioneer in the field."

    Renewable Energy technologies such as wind are impacted by intermittency and production issues and this project will explore storage solutions, such as hydrogen and ammonia, that can help manage the issue of intermittent supply. Like electricity, hydrogen is an energy carrier and can be produced from a variety of sources including seawater and used as a source of energy or fuel.

    Stored energy
    It could also allow the stored energy to be fed back into the grid, and potentially channel renewable energy to difficult-to-decarbonise sectors such as renewable heat and transport, which account for more than 60% of UK energy demand.

    A report in 2020 from the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult claimed that even if only offshore wind-to-hydrogen is considered, the exports to Europe alone could reach an annual value of up to £48bn.

    Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: “The waters around the UK offer abundant prospects for clean energy. Ensuring that we can tap the full potential of our natural resources will be vital in meeting our bold climate change commitments.

    “As shown through our world-leading offshore wind sector, we are not only capitalising on the clean energy potential around our coastline but also the opportunities for investment, jobs creation and regional growth. Projects like Ocean-REFuel are helping us fulfil that potential as we build back greener.”

    Industrial partners
    The five-year collaboration, which involves 28 industrial partners, including BP, Scottish Power, National Grid, ENI along with the UK Health & Safety Executive, will also produce a Blueprint for the first integrated Ocean Renewable Fuel production facility.

    Professor Feargal Brennan, Head of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering at the University of Strathclyde and the Ocean-REFuel project lead, said: “The Ocean-REFuel project has come at precisely the right time to build on the successes of offshore wind and has the potential to create a step-change in how we consider our whole energy system.

    “The team will aim to use their vast experience to provide international thought-leadership on how to best develop this enormous energy potential in a safe, environmentally sensitive and responsible manner to provide maximum benefit to local communities whilst contributing in a major way to net-zero.

    “The challenges are immense, and we are acutely aware of the importance of getting this right, given the backdrop of the climate emergency and the global consequences unless step changes can be achieved.”

    The Ocean-REFuel project builds on EPSRC investment of more than £35 million into offshore wind power over the past decade and Dr Lucy Martin, Deputy Director for Cross-Council Programmes at EPSRC, said: “The UK is the world’s largest producer of offshore wind energy but there is vast potential yet to be tapped into, as outlined in the Prime Minister’s plan to quadruple the amount we produce by 2030 including the opportunity to use offshore wind to help meet our green hydrogen production needs.

    “By addressing key research challenges to the wider use of offshore wind energy and integrating it into green hydrogen production, the Ocean-REFuel project will help us to engineer the radical energy transition needed to deliver on our Net Zero commitment and also enhance the sustainability and resilience of the UK energy system.”

    Global effort
    UK Government Minister for Scotland David Duguid said: “As Glasgow prepares to host COP26 later this year, the eyes of the world will be on the UK to show leadership, creativity and innovation in the global effort to tackle climate change.

    “This fantastic project, led by the University of Strathclyde, will investigate the potential our natural resources hold to generate clean energy and help achieve our net zero ambitions."




2021 September 21

12:34 International Maritime Exhibition and Conference NEVA 2021 opens in St. Petersburg
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09:33 Crude oil prices increase in expectation of Covid related restrictions to be eased
09:19 Baltic Dry Index as of September 20

2021 September 20

18:27 Strategic Marine announces new 42m Gen 4 Fast Crew Boat
18:07 FSG to build RoRo vessel with LNG propulsion for Australian company SeaRoad
17:45 Sovcomflot Board reviews Group’s results for H1 2021
17:26 Shell to build one of Europe’s biggest biofuels facilities at the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Rotterdam
17:16 Maiden call of EMA service at Vado Ligure connecting Eastern Med with US East coast
17:00 Rosmorrechflot estimates Russia’s demand for technical ships in 2025-2030 at over 800 units
16:39 New DNV Naval Technical Assurance concept offers tailored solutions for naval verification
16:11 Vyborg Shipyard delivers second trawler of KMT01 design
15:25 IAPH launches Cybersecurity Guidelines for Ports and Port Facilities
14:39 FESCO acquires 300 new refrigerated containers of increased capacity
14:02 Boluda Towage celebrates naming ceremony for tug quartet
13:22 ABS study suggests dual-fuel newbuilds have the decarbonization advantage over conversion
12:53 International conference “Inland waterways: strategic potential for growth” kicked off in Saint-Petersburg
12:05 NAVTOR boosts development muscle with new base in Poland
11:58 Port of Oakland import volume edged up in August 2021
10:51 New study reveals vessels using Jotun HPS reported 20% lower carbon intensity in operations
10:12 4th International Conference “Development of Icebreaking and Support Fleet“ kicked off in Saint-Petersburg
09:41 Crude oil prices decrease as oil production resumes in the Gulf of Mexico
09:35 San Pedro Bay Ports announce new measures to speed cargo throughput
09:27 MABUX: Global bunker market is in a stable state on Sep 20
09:13 Baltic Dry Index as of September 17

2021 September 19

15:23 Austal names Rusty Murdaugh as Austal USA President
14:17 Parkwind selects Port of Mukran to become the O&M base for Arcadis Ost 1 wind farm
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2021 September 18

15:07 Energy-saving investments clear the way for shore-based power
13:49 GROUPE IDEC is developing the first XXL energy - positive activity park in Europe
12:41 IMOCA extends relationship naming Iridium and Thales as official communications partners
11:37 Tanguy de Lamotte will spearhead electric boat revolution in the US
10:49 Industry alarmed as spat between governments threatens investment in Scottish ports – BPA

2021 September 17

17:49 New radar post to increase navigation safety in the seaport of Kaliningrad
17:26 Svanehøj acquires Wärtsilä Tank Control Systems
17:06 Navigator Gas awarded DNV AiP for new ammonia fuelled gas carrier design
16:47 Zelenodolsk Plant named after M. Gorky launches small-size missile ship Grad
16:31 PIL launches new South China to India West Coast Service - South China India Express
16:05 De Beers’ latest diamond recovery vessel departs Damen Shipyards Mangalia for Southern Africa
15:46 Port of Melbourne CEO announces retirement
15:25 Transneft Baltic holds large-scale firefighting and tactical drills at Ust-Luga Oil Depot
14:18 Grain traders to address RF Ministry of Agriculture and ask it revise grain export duty calculation system
13:27 Rostov Grain Terminal handled 80,000 tonnes of grain in August 2021
12:10 APM Terminals Poti marks two years without injury and celebrates its safety culture
11:56 Vitol’s V-Bunkers to bring electric-hybrid bunker tankers to Singapore harbour
11:05 ABS and DSME to develop very large liquefied CO2 carrier
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09:58 The Port of Calais officially inaugurated
09:26 Crude oil market sees downward price correction
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09:09 Baltic Dry Index as of September 16