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Boost for renewable energy

Published: 28 Jul 2016 14:35

Funding to support workforce and skills for the future

Research and training projects that will help continue Scotland continue to capitalise on the vast potential of the renewable energy sector are set to benefit from Scottish Government funding of £300,000.

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, a leading offshore renewable research centre, will receive £215,000 to develop a digital clone of their demonstration offshore wind turbine, opening up more industrial and academic research opportunities.

The Energy Skills Partnership will receive £85,000 to support their virtual reality and work training programmes, ensuring that Scotland has the workforce and skills required by the energy sector in the future.

Visiting the Catapult's demonstration offshore wind turbine in Levenmouth, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy Paul Wheelhouse said:

"Over the longer term, Scotland will need to transition its primary energy from fossil fuels to renewable sources. This represents a huge opportunity as the country looks to increase vastly its demand for renewable electricity and heat.

"This is why we must have a workforce with the skills needed to help grow this industry.

"It is fantastic news that projects such as those we are announcing funding for today are looking to the future by striving to meet industry's needs. They are new innovative projects, which represent exactly what we are looking for to boost the renewable energy sector and Scotland's economy."

Dr. Stephen Wyatt, Strategy & Commercialisation Director for ORE Catapult, said:

"The creation of a virtual turbine, or 'digital clone', through sensors on the blades, tower and foundation, will enable us to develop a unique understanding of the performance, forces and strains on a next-generation offshore wind turbine.

"Not only will the project enable extensive future research and new opportunities for Scottish engineering and technology companies, but the resulting data will enable us to enhance future turbine design and potentially drive significant cost reduction".

Jim Brown, Director of the Energy Skills Partnership (ESP) said:

"Our development of a highly realistic immersive Hybrid Reality (iHR) version of the Levenmouth Turbine is a tremendous opportunity to develop the skills and jobs required by the growing offshore renewables industry in Scotland".

"This funding will enable us to work with partners Heriot Watt University and ORE Catapult to further develop the system, and deliver a huge impact for the sector. ESP are delighted to be leading on this as part of our innovation in education work."

Notes to editors

The Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult, headquartered in Glasgow, is one of Europe's leading research centres specialising in offshore renewables, including wind, wave and tidal.

Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Catapult has acquired the Levenmouth 7MW demonstration offshore wind turbine, from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI). It is one of the world's most advanced, open access, offshore wind turbines dedicated to research, and offers opportunities for considerable training and development of skills vital for the future of the offshore wind industry. The development of a Digital Clone would further enhance the uniqueness of this asset and open up the opportunities to the wider academic and industrial base in Scotland.

The Energy Skills Partnership (ESP) is a collaboration of colleges aiming to increase Scotland's capacity to deliver skills and prevent duplication of effort and investment for the energy sector by ensuring capacity, quality and affordability. This consortium approach aims to ensure the right skills are being delivered and raise industry awareness to guarantee Scotland has the workforce, skills and competence required by the energy sector in the future.

The Energy Skills Partnership (ESP) are working with Skills Development Scotland (SDS) on a number of projects, including the Virtual reality project and Work Readiness programme.