Offshore marine renewables in the emerging blue economy
The UNSW Water Research Laboratory (WRL) is fast increasing its activities and expertise in the field of offshore marine renewables.
WRL Principal Engineer Dr Francois Flocard, an expert in the field of marine renewables, says that ocean energy, including wave and tidal energy conversion technologies, will likely be a crucial component in the world's emerging blue economy.
At the research level, WRL was recently awarded an ARC Linkage Project entitled 'Controlling coastlines while generating power'. This will see universities, local government and industry partners collaborate to conduct several wave flume and wave basin experiments to assess the potential for wave energy farms to produce power while providing additional protection to beaches or ports.
Earlier this year, WRL also provided critical coastal engineering advice to an Australian wave energy developer to help them better understand and mitigate risk to their project from wave scour. The WRL solution was implemented just before some very large storms in April, with successful results. The technical solution designed by WRL protected the recently deployed wave energy device and ensured its stability in powerful storms by limiting its exposure to scour.
Dr Flocard was also recently invited by the PIANC New South Wales Chapter to give a presentation in an August webinar on 'Ocean Energy in Australia'. His talk introduced the audience to the marine renewable resources around Australia's coasts and he participated in a panel discussion with other experts on offshore energy and opportunities in Australia.
More information on UNSW's relevant expertise can be found on the WRL website.