Climate change: World’s largest scientific report ‘code red for humanity’
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) held a press conference this morning (9 August) to present the Summary for Policymakers of the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. It was open to all and attracted well in excess of 9,000 people, proving the power of online events, as well as the importance of the topic. The informative press conference is available on YouTube.
The launch of the report follows the 54th Session of the IPCC and 14th Session of Working Group 1 that considered the report. The virtual meetings started on 26 July and went on until the end of last week. Interestingly the virtual format broke all previous records on attendance (739 people participated) and working hours (186); and was declared by many delegates in their closing statements as the most successful approval session ever… what’s more there were no technical hitches at all.
Looking back to last week
Yet more on floating offshore wind…
• Subsea 7 has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority interest in the equity of Nautilus Floating Solutions S.L. a developer of technology for the floating wind market based in Bilbao, Spain. Nautilus has developed a promising concept for a floating wind foundation based on a semi-submersible steel structure that supports a centrally-placed wind turbine. Subsea 7 will provide technical expertise, and engineering and project management capabilities, to support the advancement of this design and it is envisaged that the concept will be included in tenders for demonstrator or pilot projects in 2021 and beyond.
Also last week it was announced that the 200MW Salamander floating wind project, developed by Simply Blue Energy in partnership with Subsea 7, has singed a memorandum of understanding with ERM for the potential use of the ERM Dolphyn hydrogen technology. The project is also working closely with Scotland Gas Networks (SGN) to potentially integrate with and connect into future 100 % hydrogen infrastructure or as a blend with existing gas infrastructure, which SGN are aiming to develop through their decarbonisation roadmap.
• Swedish company Hexicon has completed the acquisition of the Wave Hub renewable energy test site in Cornwall in south west England, paving the way for the former’s first deployment of its Twinwind floating foundation technology in UK waters by 2025. The deal, first announced in May, sees Hexicon through its UK subsidiary, TwinHub Limited, acquire the existing assets of Wave Hub from Cornwall Council.
• A UK team, led by DNV, has begun work on an innovative collaboration project funded by Innovate UK, and in cooperation with the US National Offshore Wind Research & Development Consortium (NOWRDC).
The research project – running up to March 2023 – aims to reduce the levelized cost of energy (LCoE) in offshore floating wind by investigating the effects of using wake steering (a novel wind farm control (WFC) strategy) on floating wind farms. n innovation call from the NOWRDC, and partnered with Innovate UK, led to the creation of project teams on both sides of the Atlantic which have begun collaborating on this programme, focusing on specific areas of interest.
So, how fast do you reckon this ‘vessel’ is travelling?
It’s not! It is all an optical illusion. Orbital Marine Power’s O2 isn’t moving at all you’re actually witnessing is the immense power of the tides.
Let’s hear it for the Port of Cromarty!
Not surprisingly, the Port of Cromarty Firth welcomed a study by Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and Crown Estate Scotland which backs the Cromarty Firth as an ideal location for an offshore wind marshalling and assembly hub.
The independent ‘Port Enhancement Study’ demonstrates that the Cromarty Firth is the best location to capitalise on the significant opportunities stemming from Scotland’s future offshore wind market due to its existing port and laydown facilities, feasibility and capacity for expansion, and proximity to future development sites.
An interesting OPITO development
OPITO, the global safety and skills body for the energy industry, has announced the creation of an Energy Transition team, to lead the development of innovative workforce standards, training and products to support the energy transition and decarbonisation agenda.
Led by newly appointed Head of Energy Transition, Andy Williamson, OPITO will build on its leading global position in oil and gas to identify opportunities across the renewable energy sector including hydrogen and Carbon Capture Usage and Storage, working in partnership with other industry and accreditation bodies to develop a safe, skilled and mobile workforce equipped with an ‘all-energy’ skills passport.
Funding available and awarded
Funding worth up to £1.5 million has been announced for research into developing and integrating technologies to enable energy storage at grid scale. Interested areas include mechanical storage systems, compressed air energy storage, storage of heat, hydrogen or natural gas and heat pumps or pumped heat electrical storage – but proposals are welcomed in alternative and novel areas. The funding is being provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation.
• Tidal energy firm Nova Innovation has been awarded a £2 million cash injection from the Scottish Government to take turbine manufacturing to a global level.The funding, delivered through Scottish Enterprise, is directed at Nova’s VOLT (VOlume Manufacturing and Logistics for Tidal Energy) project. It will develop the first European assembly line to mass manufacture tidal turbines, and trial innovative techniques and tools to ship, deploy and monitor turbines around the world – meeting the challenge of the climate emergency.
• Shannon-Foynes Port in Ireland has been awarded over €2m in co-funding under the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility to support a feasibility study that will examine what the facility can offer the country’s offshore wind sector. The €2.3m backing will support the probe for a future development of a new deep-water berth and associated infrastructure at Foynes Port, Limerick.
A long read
Whether or not you are into cars, this is a fascinating long read from The Guardian. It seems the debate about the merits of electric cars turns out to be as old as the automobile itself.