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Aberdeen eyes ocean energy opportunities

Written by  OE Staff Friday, 09 June 2017 10:10

Renewable energy development, including technologies which extract energy from the ocean need to be funded and accelerated to meet carbon reduction targets.

Engineers and scientists in Scotland and Aberdeen are ideally positioned to help governments do so, says Professor John Watson, chairman of this year’s MTS/IEEE OCEANS’17 conference, being held in Aberdeen next week. 

“The development of renewables, and particularly marine, is key to this vision of our future in oceanic development,” he says. “Whether or not renewable energy is going to help solve our energy crisis is the hot topic in engineering and science in recent years,” he says. “Is climate change real or not? Are we influencing it or not? Eminently qualified people lie on both sides of the debate. 

“Regardless of where you sit, it is clear that the ongoing development of renewable energy in all its varied forms must be funded and accelerated if governments the world over are going to meet their green energy targets. Beginning to gain more attraction now are methods of extracting energy from the waters surrounding our coasts in, for example, the form of wave or tidal energy. Engineers and scientists Scotland, in general, and Aberdeen in particular are well placed to develop and exploit marine renewable energy concepts and are at the forefront of these developments.” 

The bi-annual MTS/IEEE OCEANS conference, being held at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre (AECC) 19-22 June, will reflect this trend in marine renewable energy development. This global event will bring engineers, scientists, educationalists, policy makers and stakeholders together to discuss oceanic engineering, technology and science. This year’s conference theme is “A vision to sustaining our marine futures.” 

Key speakers include Neil Gordon, CEO of Subsea UK, and Dr Gordon Drummond of NSRI, who will underline how the growth of marine renewables will be crucial to us achieving “green energy” targets. Dr Gareth Davies, Director of Aquatera, will outline The Future of Marine Renewables. 

“Of particular significance is how new sensor technologies need to be developed in tandem with the energy generating technology, and the need to focus on an end-to-end approach of the value chain of ocean observation,” says Prof Watson. The Marine Renewables theme continues throughout the week with three sessions devoted to this; and a workshop on Sensor and System Innovations for the Oceans of Tomorrow.

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