The FOW CoE has developed an initial core work programme across four workstreams:
Floating offshore wind technology is developing rapidly with much of the focus placed on the development of floating offshore wind sub-structures. However, there is a wide range of technologies required to deliver floating offshore wind projects at a commercial scale cost effectively, safely and reliably.
Much of the technology proposed for deployment in floating offshore wind projects is not novel. It is adapted or evolved from other applications, mostly applications in fixed bottom wind and the oil and gas industry. Whilst the principles of these technologies remain the same, the specification, operating conditions, scale and volume for deployment in floating offshore wind may differ.
As with offshore wind more generally, technology development cannot be considered in isolation. It also requires consideration of how the technology will be commercialised and delivered into projects in sufficient volumes by a competitive and capable supply chain. In the UK, this includes specific consideration of a substantial part of the supply chain being based in the UK.
This workstream will focus on the late stage commercialisation, testing, validation and benchmarking of technologies for floating offshore wind, with a specific focus on the UK supply chain.
Floating offshore wind is set to grow rapidly both in the UK and internationally. Critical to the success of the industry will be access to a capable, competent and competitive supply chain. In the UK, through the Offshore Wind Sector Deal, UK Government and the offshore wind industry have committed to increase local content in UK projects. Floating offshore offers an excellent opportunity for both Government and industry to engage with the supply chain early to support its development with a focus on areas of existing strength and opportunity for the UK supply chain.
A key element of developing this supply chain is the approach taken to developing enabling infrastructure and establishing supply chain clusters. These are critical to ensuring that all required infrastructure, products, services, skills and experience are supported to work collaboratively to support the safe, efficient and cost effectiveness construction, operations and maintenance and decommissioning of projects.
This workstream shall focus on growing and developing the supply chain to ensure commercial scale project developers have access to a capable, competent and competitive supply chain. Early work will include activities relating to enabling infrastructure, clustering, cross sector collaboration and raising the awareness and knowledge of floating offshore wind supply chain opportunity. Health and safety shall also be a focus.
Floating offshore wind projects are anticipated to grow in scale around the UK from 2020 to 2030 – from small demonstrator projects to full scale commercial projects. This growth in scale is consistent with the broader growth in offshore wind development in the UK as part of the UK’s efforts to achieve “net zero” by 2050 (and 2045 in Scotland). Key to ensuring the floating offshore wind industry in the UK can scale in the rapid and sustainable fashion required is having an efficient, timely, transparent development and consenting process, which retains the required levels of rigour and diligence to support appropriate development.
This workstream will focus on identifying and addressing the risks to timely, efficient and appropriate development and consenting of floating offshore wind projects in the UK. It is intended the activities to address these are delivered through a range of collaborative partnerships with existing and new programmes.
Floating offshore wind shall play a key role in the UK achieving its net zero ambition in 2050. The scale of this role will be defined by Government policy and cost reduction in the broader floating offshore wind industry. However, in addition to adding to the low carbon generation capacity in the UK, it is considered to have a range of other benefits. These include benefits to the broader energy system and supporting the energy transition.
This workstream will focus on understanding the role of floating offshore wind in the future energy systems, specifically its benefits with the energy system and more broadly its role in the energy transition.
Ralph is a Programme Manager at ORE Catapult and is responsible for the delivery of large, multi-project technology and supply chain development programmes. Ralph first joined ORE Catapult in 2014 where he worked in the business integration team during the merger with the NAREC organisation before going on to lead ORE Catapult’s Engineering Team.
Prior to joining ORE Catapult, Ralph spent seven years working in consultancy as both owners and lenders engineer, providing specialist advice on renewable energy technology, project design and development. Ralph has a broad range of engineering, programmes, operations and business management experience. Over the past five years, Ralph has worked within a number of innovative companies and project entities in an operational and project delivery role. This has provided him with first hand experience of the challenges faced by companies commercialising new technologies and scaling their operations to deliver these. Ralph has a Masters in Mechanical Engineering (M.Eng) and a Masters in Business Administration (MBA), both from the University of Strathclyde.