Marine renewables under spotlight at Oceanology International 2014

Paul Boughton

The rapid growth in the marine renewables sector and its demands for technologies to support survey, installation and maintenance will be featured in one of the eight highly relevant conferences being held as an integral part of Oceanology International 2014, the exhibition for marine science and technology, taking place Tuesday 11 - Thursday 13 March 2014 at London’s ExCeL.

‘Marine Renewables - Survey, Installation and Maintenance’ is a day-long conference chaired by Alan Moore OBE, Chairman, Ventus 2VCT plc, and Director of Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult; and Phil Durrant, managing Director, Gardline Environmental and Co-Chair, Marine Industries Liaison Group takes place on Tuesday 11 March.

“The UK’s energy targets require the investment of tens of £billions in offshore renewables, most immediately in offshore wind power. The global market is several times bigger,” explain the conference’s co-chairs.

“Much activity is underway to grow the supply chain and, since more than half of the expected investment is on or below the water line, this presents enormous opportunities for those attending Oceanology International to get involved. We have structured our Renewables Day to cover the relevant energy policies and support mechanisms, the support for innovative ideas, and some of those ideas themselves. Sessions will address the development stages leading to planning consent and grid connection, the challenges of installation in the harsh marine environment, and the rapidly evolving practices around operation and maintenance.

“In each session we have chosen speakers with real experience. So those attending the conference will judge for themselves whether they want to get involved in marine renewables. They can speak to those who already are, and learn how to make the most of one of the biggest, fastest growing, environmental, engineering and commercial opportunities of the next decade.”

The conference, which, like all the component parts of Oceanology International, is free to attend, opens with a session on Marine Renewables Policy and Overview, with speakers Gareth Redmond, ORED, DECC, Nick Medic, RenewableUK, William Apps, The Crown Estate, and Andrew Jamieson, ORE Catapult setting the scene for delegates.

A session then follows on Project Development – Pre-construction – with presentations on Lessons Learnt During the Execution of UK Round 3 Pre-Consenting Survey Projects (John Norse, Gardline); Metocean Standards for the Modern Day Renewable Energy Industry (James Parker, CEFAS); and Consenting the World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farms: Dogger Bank – Halfway to the Moon (Michael Stephenson, Forewind and Martin Goff, Statoil).

The early afternoon session on Commissioning and Construction comprises presentations on Monitoring Offshore Wind Turbine Foundations (Per Sparrevik, Norwegian Geotechnical Institute); Habitat Impact Assessment for Offshore Energy Projects: High Time to Abandon 19th Century Tools (Joseph Germano, Germano & Associates); and M3EA: A New Floating Platform for Offshore Measurements (Jacques Barreau, Nass&Wind Offshore).

The final session of the day - Operation, Maintenance and Monitoring – sees presentations on Can the World’s Largest Operational Offshore Wind Farm also be one of the World’s Best? An Overview of London Array’s Approach to keeping the Turbines Turning Safely (Mike O’Hare, London Array Limited); SPARTA Offshore Reliability Standards (David Arnold, ORE Catapult); Benefits of Ocean Radars for the Marine Renewable energy Sector (Nicolas Thomas, ACTIMAR); and Management of UXO risk in Offshore Wind Farm Developments & Export Cabling (David Sinclair, GeoServices). 

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