Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult invites oil and gas skills base to join R&D effort

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has launched a series of innovation challenges, to harness Britain’s world-leading experience in oil and gas for the growing offshore renewables market, which is set to spend £210 billion in the coming decade.

The challenges urge oil and gas companies to diversify and take an early lead in the global renewables revolution.

Andrew Tipping, commercialisation manager at ORE Catapult, said: “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.”

The challenges will invite companies to develop solutions to a number of issues facing the offshore wind sector, from improving maintenance techniques and finding better foundation fixings for wind and tidal turbines, to finding cost-effective cable surveying and ice-reduction coatings.

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.

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