Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

UNSW joins Australian Ocean Energy Group

UNSW Sydney recently became a supporting member of the Australian Ocean Energy Group (AOEG).  UNSW’s involvement in this initiative was led by Dr François Flocard, Principal Engineer at the Water Research Laboratory of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The Australian Ocean Energy Group is an industry-led cluster formed to facilitate industry collaboration of the ocean energy industry to create significant value for Australia.  Its founding partners include leading energy organisations, Australian research institutions, plus innovators and SMEs drawn from across Australia and the world. AOEG’s goal is to innovate solutions to challenges, strengthen partnerships, facilitate the industry’s commercialisation, business and investment focus, attract a community of stakeholders, and provide a channel to engage internationally in a more significant, strategic way.

While solar and wind are clear leaders in Australia’s current renewable market, Marine Renewable Energies (MRE - i.e. tidal, marine currents and wave energy) could become an additional solution for the future Australian renewable mix. Australia’s coasts are home to the world’s best wave energy resource in the south, while the north with its large tidal ranges is ideal for the implementation of tidal energy projects. MRE have seen major developments in Australia in the last two years, both in the research sphere and industry led projects.

MRE are increasingly seen as key to help develop a sustainable blue economy and sectors such as marine aquaculture, offshore energy, defence and commercial shipping. Reliable in-situ power generation could allow marine aquaculture to move farther away from the coast, reducing environmental impacts. Underwater or offshore charging stations could extend the range and duration of unmanned underwater vehicle missions, drastically reducing the need for expensive fuel-burning support vessels. Powered buoys that generate energy using underwater turbines or integrated wave energy conversion systems could support longer deployments and host larger payloads with more sensors, collect more data, and increase the frequency of communications back to shore.

The 5th Asian Wave and Tidal Energy Conference (AWTEC 2020), will be held in Hobart in November this year. AWTEC 2020 will provide an opportunity to exchange, learn, interact and network on all multidisciplinary aspects of ocean renewable energy. Encompassed within AWTEC 2020, will be the third Australian Ocean Renewable Energy Symposium (AORES), highlighting the growth of Australia’s ocean renewable energy capabilities and developments.


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