Seamus D. Garvey, Professor of Dynamics, University of Nottingham, will look at the obstacles to significant use of offshore renewables and demonstrate how all the answers point to a different approach.
The scale of importance of offshore renewables to the UK can hardly be overstated. The annual UK energy bill is £100Bn in round numbers – very similar to total current spending on the NHS. The offshore energy resource available is sufficient to supply ALL UK energy demands – and more besides. The resource itself is extremely reliable in that no external power can switch it off or charge us for using it. Moreover, it is completely sustainable.
Offshore renewables present two major problems: (a) a relatively high cost of energy and (b) a lack of control over the time at which power is delivered. In both cases, some actions are being taken but this address challenges whether sufficiently fundamental thinking is being undertaken. In his talk, he will ask whether the optimal offshore wind turbines should look rather different from those that exist today and if there is a case for integrating energy storage into the design of offshore energy collection systems rather than treating energy storage as a separate issue. Perhaps some means should be devised whereby major elements of the new infrastructure have target lives of 50/100/150 years. These questions will be raised alongside quantitative indications that the answers point to a different approach.
Free to attend. Booking essential.