COP26 Case studiesOffshore wind energy

A major research focus is on offshore wind energy generation.

The Low Carbon Power and Energy Programme (LCPE) is a partnership between the University of Strathclyde, ScottishPower (a subsidiary of Iberdrola, one of the world’s leading producers or wind power), SSE and The Wood Group. It is helping to tackle key industry challenges including reducing costs, optimising assets, a maturing wind fleet, lifetime extension and Levelised Cost of Energy (LCoE).

The benefits of the £2.8 million core research programme, which covered the first phase of the five-year collaboration, are already being seen. Phase one focused on reducing the costs and risks associated with both onshore and offshore wind projects.

This has included the design and delivery of 13 research projects, divided across three distinct themes – Asset Management, Electrical Networks, and Foundations and Installations. The results of the first phase of the programme have been independently assessed as having the potential to deliver a net cumulative benefit conservatively estimated at £50 million with an upper range of £200 million, arising from a total leveraged budget of £3.72 million.  Importantly it has demonstrated the ways in which new academic research can de-risk the adoption and deployment of new technologies.

A further key area of research is in floating offshore wind turbines, a technology that will be needed to ramp up renewable generation further and meet demand for the production of green hydrogen. The Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering, led by Prof Feargal Brennan, houses one of the world’s leading centres of expertise on floating offshore turbines.