The Scottish Government has awarded the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) with a contract to explore opportunities for floating offshore wind and hydrogen supply chains in Scotland and France.
EMEC will partner with French engineering firm INNOSEA and London-based Renewables Consulting Group (RCG) to carry out research to understand the technical status of floating wind and hydrogen in Scotland and France and identify ways that collaboration can be encouraged to address challenges of mutual interest.
EMEC brings its extensive marine energy and hydrogen expertise, INNOSEA brings a strong French perspective to this research project, whilst RCG will bring their experience in the floating wind sector.
Floating wind and hydrogen technologies are central to energy decarbonisation strategies in both countries and internationally, collaborative research and development activity can identify new engineering solutions to increase the competitiveness of these technologies.
Towards this aim, the project consortium will evaluate the technical status of the floating wind and hydrogen production components and systems under development, accounting for the impacts of the policy context and innovation programme landscape in the two nations.
The consortium is also tasked with engaging directly with floating wind and hydrogen supply chain companies to seek feedback on existing collaboration successes, as well as identify opportunities to facilitate further joined-up thinking and cross-border activity.
Some four virtual reflective workshops will be held with French and Scottish industry stakeholders to understand their experiences of international collaboration, as well as gather feedback on how future Franco-Scottish collaborative activities can be best supported.
Consultations will also be held with equipment manufacturers, installers, project developers, project designers, trade associations and regional development agencies.
The findings of this project will be published in a final report in summer 2021 ahead of COP26, which is set to take place in Glasgow in November 2021.
Paul Wheelhouse, Scotland’s Energy Minister said: “Scotland’s Energy Strategy recognises the importance of working with international partners to better understand our transition to a net-zero economy and energy system. In the run-up to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow later this year, we have an opportunity to increase public awareness around the climate emergency we all face.
“This project, which sees collaboration between Scotland and our friends in France, is in line with our international energy engagement priorities for both hydrogen and offshore wind and will help to support our efforts to develop new renewable energy solutions. I very much look forward to seeing its outcomes and to utilising its findings to inform further evolution of our energy policy as we ramp up our ambition and seek to harness exciting new opportunities as we expand offshore wind in Scotland.”
Dr James Walker, hydrogen development manager at EMEC, adds:
“International collaboration and dissemination of lessons learned in innovation are integral to seeing progress in the development of floating wind and hydrogen production technologies. Both are also key aspects of EMEC’s work in testing and demonstrating the energy system of the future and we are delighted to be bringing this experience to support delivering this project.