Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult in Aberdeen has urged the oil and gas companies in the UK to diversify and take an early lead in the growing offshore renewables market, set to spend £210 billion in the coming decade.
A new series of innovation challenges have been set to the sector as it continues to come to terms with lower oil prices and weakening demand, according to ORE Catapult.
The challenges are spread across six broad themes: blades, electrical infrastructure, foundations, operations and maintenance, powertrain innovation and wave and tidal, and were identified by ORE Catapult in partnership with industry and academia.
Andrew Tipping, Commercialisation Manager at ORE Catapult, said: “Aberdeen, and the UK as a whole, has extensive experience in oil and gas and the skills base, both in exploration and drilling, could be invaluable to the growth and development of offshore renewables. The value of this should not be underestimated, particularly at a time when the oil and gas sector continues to contend with lower oil prices and a need to reduce operating costs.
“Diversifying into renewables provides greater resilience for companies at the same time as providing an opportunity to take an early lead in what will be a huge global industry.”
Tipping also said that the aim of the challenges is to bring down the overall cost of offshore renewable technology, and to drive growth for UK companies.
“We’ve teamed up with a National Subsea Research Institute Initiative (NSRI) to highlight these opportunities and make sure that companies grasp them as quickly as possible and steal a march on our global competitors,” added Tipping.