ORE Catapult and Frazer Nash plan to reduce risk for offshore renewable investments

Offshore energy projects are seen as 'high risk' invetments
Offshore energy projects are seen as ‘high risk’ investments

By DARA BUTTERFIELD

The Glasgow-based Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has teamed up with Frazer-Nash Consultancy to reduce risk for offshore renewable investment.

The partnership has produced a standardised approach to assessing and reducing uncertainty associated with energy yield assessment for wave and tidal energy projects. This approach will ultimately help to reduce risk and make projects more attractive to investors.

Ralph Torr, Renewable Technology Engineer, ORE Catapult, said: “The perceived level of risk associated with wave and tidal energy projects is high.

“Being able to more accurately determine the energy output of a potential wave or tidal energy project is a key part of reducing this risk and is central to optimised project design and reducing the costs of financing.

“This project provides a common language and a standardised approach to assessing and reducing uncertainty.”

Until now, there has been no standardised methodology or common terminology for energy yield and uncertainty assessments. The outputs from this project are a major step forward in addressing these issues and will bring substantial industry benefits, including:

  • Increased understanding amongst project developers of the uncertainties (and therefore risks) associated with projects to help them prioritise uncertainty-reducing activities.
  • Helping project financiers to understand the importance and potential scale of uncertainties and inform discussions on financial risk.
  • Enabling researchers to prioritise research activities to help reduce these risks.

Neil Adams, Group Leader, Frazer-Nash, said: “We’ve worked extensively with the ORE Catapult, industry and academia on this programme.

“We have developed a structured guidance document and intuitive tool to determine the uncertainty on energy yield simply and systematically. It helps identify key uncertainties and allows projects to be compared on a like-for-like basis. This will assist project developers and financiers decide where to invest their capital.”

The three guidance documents and the uncertainty management tool can be accessed on ORE Catapult’s website here.

The offshore renewables catapult was established in 2013 by the UK Government and is one of seven such Catapults set up by Innovate UK in high growth industries. It is the UK’s flagship technology innovation and research centre for offshore wind, wave and tidal energy.

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