BlueWeek 2015: Collaboration Key for Dutch Energy Agreement Success

The Dutch Energy Agreement can be successful only if the industry, government and researchers active in the field of offshore wind energy and energy production from water work together, Marine Renewable Energy Symposium at Deltares stressed.

Acting on the principle ‘dare to share knowledge’, Deltares teamed up with MARIN and TKI Wind op Zee to bring together representatives from industry, government and science at the BlueWeek 2015. Over 200 experts in offshore wind, wave and tidal energy met in Delft to identify the most promising initiatives.

Major advances can still be made, particularly in the areas of installation, logistics and maintenance, to make sustainable energy from the sea more profitable faster. The Energy Agreement requires 16% of Dutch energy to be sustainable by 2023. Without offshore wind farms and tidal flow plants, this goal cannot be achieved, the experts agreed.

In recent years, major advances have been made in the technology for offshore wind energy and tidal energy. But it is precisely that progress that has thrown up new, fundamental, research issues, was the argument put forward by, among others, the European Academy of Wind Energy. For example, rotor blades are getting larger and larger all the time and the weight is becoming a construction risk. Studies of new, safe, designs and perhaps even entirely new types of material will be essential to maintain progress in commercially viable offshore wind energy. Superconducting turbines also have potential.

The establishment of public-private consortiums is the only way of tackling these challenges. In that respect, the focus will increasingly be on international relationships, something that was also reflected in the international character of BlueWeek 2015.

TKI Wind op Zee, a part of the Top Sector policy of the Dutch government, is emphatically looking outside its own borders to prevent research being duplicated. The Carbon Trust from the United Kingdom is working on the establishment of collaboration between all the countries surrounding the North Sea and it is discussing this initiative with, among others, TKI Wind op Zee.

In addition, there was emphatic demand from the sector to look at financing for up-scaling and demonstration projects.

Image: deltares

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