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Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator to launch 16 new R&D projects

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Offshore Wind
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The Carbon Trust Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA) will launch 16 new research and development projects this year, ensuring continued innovation in the global offshore wind industry. 

The OWA is a collaboration between nine offshore wind developers, including ENBw, Equinor, Orsted, RWE, SSE Renewables, Scottish Power Renewables, Shell, TotalEnergies, and Vattenfall. The aim of the accelerator is to test out new technologies and processes to help optimise and scale renewable energy, which will be critical to meeting new targets set by central governments around the world. 

New targets including those from the UK Government, which aims to boost low carbon energy generation from 60% of electricity production to 95% by 2030. This followed Germany’s announcement in March to spend €200bn on its ‘Energiewende’ energy transition and Easter Package commitments to reach 70GW of offshore generation by 2045.

Tenders for each of the 16 new R&D projects will be available to apply for this month through the Carbon Trust’s website.

One upcoming project will conduct research looking at the impact of climate change on offshore wind resources. Research has already been conducted into the impact of climate change on global wind patterns, but this new project will enable wind farm owners to have a better understanding of the future impacts on local wind resources.

Another will look at ways of reducing the emissions associated with installation and operations of offshore wind farms. While the turbines produce renewable energy, many of the vessels servicing the offshore farms are powered by fossil fuels.

Hybrid electric vessels, and even full emission-free vessels, are becoming more common, but the charging infrastructure is not widely available for offshore farms. The OWA is developing a new industry standard for charging vessels offshore and will extend this work to accelerate deployment of charging infrastructure within ports.

Jan Matthiesen, the Carbon Trust’s Director for Offshore Wind, noted, “This new round of 16 projects announced by the OWA will conduct critical research, which aims to generate knowledge to increase the pace and scale of industrialisation of the offshore wind sector globally. These findings are needed now more than ever to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, which will be key to achieving Net Zero targets and increasing energy security.

“In recent years, offshore wind has proven its maturity with drastic cost reductions and a rapid pace of deployment. The sector now faces a new challenge to scale up to meet the increased ambitions across global markets. This will require new innovations and methods to support this unprecedented level of industrialisation and collaboration will be key to achieving success.”

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