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ORE Catapult Acquires Samsung’s Demonstration Offshore Wind Turbine



The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has today announced that it has completed the acquisition of the Levenmouth 7MW demonstration offshore wind turbine, located off the East Fife coast, from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI).

The turbine becomes the world’s most advanced, open access, offshore wind turbine dedicated to research, and offers opportunities for considerable training and development of skills vital for the future of the offshore wind industry.

ORE Catapult is working with Fife Council and local educational bodies on the development of world-leading skills and training programmes in renewable technologies that will support the development of Levenmouth as a global centre of excellence in offshore wind.

Leading Scottish renewable energy consultancy SgurrEnergy has been appointed as Operations & Maintenance contractors for the turbine, providing operations support, knowledge and expertise for the day to day running of the turbine.

The Catapult will now undertake a planned period of operation and familiarisation of the turbine alongside SHI, whilst continuing to develop research and development activities covering multiple areas of offshore wind operations.

The turbine offers UK industry and academia an unrivalled opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of a wide range of technologies as well as the operations and maintenance aspects of offshore wind turbines, and thus drive down the cost of delivering clean energy from offshore wind.

Andrew Jamieson, Chief Executive of ORE Catapult, said: “Having a dedicated offshore wind turbine, accessible from shore, will prove a massive advantage for Scotland and indeed the UK’s offshore wind industry – a real world first. It enables us to extend and enhance both existing and future research programmes, provide an unrivalled testing environment for new technologies and facilitate the development of skills and experience critical to the future development of the industry, and its continuing efforts to reduce costs.

“I am very keen to see our ambitions in Levenmouth act as a magnet for innovation and skills development, attracting further investment to the area and helping to put Fife at the heart of Scotland’s renewable energy industry.”

Chan-Hee Son, Managing Director of Samsung Heavy Industries UK, said “Samsung Heavy Industries is pleased the future of the Levenmouth offshore prototype turbine has been secured. We believe it has the potential to play an important role in the future of the European offshore wind sector. We will continue to work closely with ORE Catapult to ensure a smooth transfer.”

Cllr Lesley Laird, Depute Leader of Fife Council and Executive Spokesperson for Economy & Planning added: “We welcome ORE Catapult to Fife and hope this leads to a successful future for offshore wind turbine training, research and development at the Energy Park.

“We continue to do everything we can to encourage and support investment into Fife. Offshore renewable energy is an important, growing industry with Fife at the forefront of Scotland’s renewables industry. Fife enjoys a reputation as a centre of excellence for research and engineering supporting the offshore wind sector. This is a great step forward in upholding and further cementing that reputation.”

Robbie Gibson, Group Director of SgurrEnergy, said: “Securing the full O&M contract for the Levenmouth turbine is testament to our strong expertise in wind energy. Our team will operate and maintain the wind turbine to ensure the correct balance between performance, availability and innovative R&D project allowance, using 24/7 remote monitoring combined with onsite management and support. We look forward to working with and supporting ORE Catapult on this exciting project.”

Ruth McKernan, Chief Executive of Innovate UK, added: “This acquisition enhances ORE Catapult’s ability to link industry and academia. The Catapults were established to transform the UK’s capability for innovation, and help drive future economic growth. This turbine will add to ORE Catapult’s efforts to commercialise innovation and reduce the cost of offshore renewables.”

Chair of the Levenmouth Area Committee, Cllr Tom Adam said: “I’m pleased to see ORE Catapult taking over the offshore wind turbine for training, research and development purposes.

“ORE Catapult is the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre. We are keen to work closely with them to ensure that Levenmouth, and Fife, can benefit from any opportunities for employment and further investment that their research at the Energy Park might bring.

“Obviously, we will look to discuss future opportunities with ORE Catapult and I’m particularly pleased that there are positive discussions already under way on training and skills opportunities for the local community.”

WWF Scotland director Lang Banks said: “Scotland has some of the largest offshore wind energy potential in the whole of Europe, so it’s good to know research on harnessing that potential will continue at this site. By making the wind turbine open access to others it should also help the industry to more quickly drive down costs.
“It’s clear from the recent Paris climate talks that the world is going to have to undertake a massive renewables revolution. As we approach the Holyrood elections, we’d like to see all the political parties grasp the economic opportunities that will arise from this transition by committing to make Scotland’s electricity system entirely renewable by 2030.”

The Catapult now operates the largest concentration of open access renewable energy test and demonstration facilities anywhere in the world, with the Levenmouth turbine complementing its existing facilities at its National Renewable Energy Centre in Blyth, Northumberland.


7 New Technologies That Could Radically Change Our Energy Consumption



Energy Consumption
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Syda Productions |

Most of our focus on technological development to lessen our environmental impact has been focused on cleaner, more efficient methods of generating electricity. The cost of solar energy production, for example, is slated to fall more than 75 percent between 2010 and 2020.

This is a massive step forward, and it’s good that engineers and researchers are working for even more advancements in this area. But what about technologies that reduce the amount of energy we demand in the first place?

Though it doesn’t get as much attention in the press, we’re making tremendous progress in this area, too.

New Technologies to Watch

These are some of the top emerging technologies that have the power to reduce our energy demands:

  1. Self-driving cars. Self-driving cars are still in development, but they’re already being hailed as potential ways to eliminate a number of problems on the road, including the epidemic of distracted driving ironically driven by other new technologies. However, even autonomous vehicle proponents often miss the tremendous energy savings that self-driving cars could have on the world. With a fleet of autonomous vehicles at our beck and call, consumers will spend less time driving themselves and more time carpooling, dramatically reducing overall fuel consumption once it’s fully adopted.
  2. Magnetocaloric tech. The magnetocaloric effect isn’t exactly new—it was actually discovered in 1881—but it’s only recently being studied and applied to commercial appliances. Essentially, this technology relies on changing magnetic fields to produce a cooling effect, which could be used in refrigerators and air conditioners to significantly reduce the amount of electricity required.
  3. New types of insulation. Insulation is the best asset we have to keep our homes thermoregulated; they keep cold or warm air in (depending on the season) and keep warm or cold air out (again, depending on the season). New insulation technology has the power to improve this efficiency many times over, decreasing our need for heating and cooling entirely. For example, some new automated sealing technologies can seal gaps between 0.5 inches wide and the width of a human hair.
  4. Better lights. Fluorescent bulbs were a dramatic improvement over incandescent bulbs, and LEDs were a dramatic improvement over fluorescent bulbs—but the improvements may not end there. Scientists are currently researching even better types of light bulbs, and more efficient applications of LEDs while they’re at it.
  5. Better heat pumps. Heat pumps are built to transfer heat from one location to another, and can be used to efficiently manage temperatures—keeping homes warm while requiring less energy expenditure. For example, some heat pumps are built for residential heating and cooling, while others are being used to make more efficient appliances, like dryers.
  6. The internet of things. The internet of things and “smart” devices is another development that can significantly reduce our energy demands. For example, “smart” windows may be able to respond dynamically to changing light conditions to heat or cool the house more efficiently, and “smart” refrigerators may be able to respond dynamically to new conditions. There are several reasons for this improvement. First, smart devices automate things, so it’s easier to control your energy consumption. Second, they track your consumption patterns, so it’s easier to conceptualize your impact. Third, they’re often designed with efficiency in mind from the beginning, reducing energy demands, even without the high-tech interfaces.
  7. Machine learning. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies have the power to improve almost every other item on this list. By studying consumer patterns and recommending new strategies, or automatically controlling certain features, machine learning algorithms have the power to fundamentally change how we use energy in our homes and businesses.

Making the Investment

All technologies need time, money, and consumer acceptance to be developed. Fortunately, a growing number of consumers are becoming enthusiastic about finding new ways to reduce their energy consumption and overall environmental impact. As long as we keep making the investment, our tools to create cleaner energy and demand less energy in the first place should have a massive positive effect on our environment—and even our daily lives.

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Responsible Energy Investments Could Solve Retirement Funding Crisis




Energy Investments
Shutterstock / By Sergey Nivens |

Retiring baby-boomers are facing a retirement cliff, at the same time as mother nature unleashes her fury with devastating storms tied to the impact of global warming. There could be a unique solution to the challenges associated with climate change – investments in clean energy from retirement funds.

Financial savings play a very important role in everyone’s life and one must start planning for it as soon as possible. It’s shocking how quickly seniors can burn through their nest egg – leaving many wondering, “How long your retirement savings will last?

Let’s take a closer look at how seniors can take baby steps on the path to retiring with dignity, while helping to clean up our environment.

Tip #1: Focus & Determination

Like in other work, it is very important to focus and be determined. If retirement is around the corner, then make sure to start putting some money away for retirement. No one can ever achieve anything without dedication and focus – whether it’s saving the planet, or saving for retirement.

Tip #2: Minimize Spending

One of the most important things that you need to do is to minimize your expenditures. Reducing consumption is good for the planet too!

Tip #3: Visualize Your Goal

You can achieve more if you have a clearly defined goal in life. This about how your money can be used to better the planet – imagine cleaner air, water and a healthier environment to leave to your grandchildren.

Investing in Clean Energy

One of the hottest and most popular industries for investment today is the energy market – the trading of energy commodities. Clean energy commodities are traded alongside dirty energy supplies. You might be surprised to learn that clean energy is becoming much more competitive.

With green biz becoming more popular, it is quickly becoming a powerful tool for diversified retirement investing.

The Future of Green Biz

As far as the future is concerned, energy businesses are going to continue getting bigger and better. There are many leading energy companies in the market that already have very high stock prices, yet people are continuing to investing in them.

Green initiatives are impacting every industry. Go Green campaigns are a PR staple of every modern brand. For the energy-sector in the US, solar energy investments are considered to be the most accessible form of clean energy investment. Though investing in any energy business comes with some risks, the demand for energy isn’t going anywhere.

In conclusion, if you want to start saving for your retirement, then clean energy stocks and commodity trading are some of the best options for wallets and the planet. Investing in clean energy products, like solar power, is a more long-term investment. It’s quite stable and comes with a significant profit margin. And it’s amazing for the planet!

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