Assessing the economic benefit, technological innovation opportunity and ecological effects of the UK deployment of ORE technology
Charlotte Cochrane, Research Associate in Marine EnergyPolicy and Innovation Group, University of Edinburgh
Over the next two years, Supergen ORE will define and investigate the three‘aspirational ORE deployment scenarios’ (AOSs) of offshore wind, wave and tidalelectricity generating technology deployment required to meet carbon reduction targets coupled with changing demand to 2050. Each of these scenarios will be explored to enable quantification of the potential effect on the UK economy and the sector’s supply chain, particularly the benefit to fragile regions. Furthermore, technology innovation needs required to deliver each scenario will be identified, in addition to an ecological assessment. The potential economic benefit, in terms of Gross Value Added (GVA) and jobs supported, offered to the UK by the production and deployment of wave and tidal electricity generation technology in domestic and international waters will be calculated. In addition to this, Supergen ORE will assess the UK supply chain for its capability to deliver this deployment and realise the resultant potential economic benefit. Coupled with ecological impact assessment and quantification by the University of Aberdeen, the range of GVA results produced by this study will inform policymaking at a UK level. Final results will be delivered in mid- 2021. For each AOS, high-level characteristics of deployment scenarios are defined using cost-optimisation energy system models to project realistic deployment levels based on the Strategic Energy Technology Ocean Energy Implementation Plan (SET Plan) cost targets . These deployment figures will serve as inputs in an Input-Output (IO) analytical model, where high and low leakage rates will be applied to measure result sensitivity to changes in supply chain capability. This is particularly relevant in the comparison of offshore wind’s economic offering to the UK – largely O&M-based –with the potential for the creation of a new wave and tidal technology industry in theUK. The economic and job creation implications of such developments will be therefore investigated, as well as how the ORE industries will engage with, reinvigorate and ultimately benefit economically marginalised coastal communities . IO analysis will track the economic impact across the supply chain, throughout the UK economy. This will allow for identification of the highest-value activities to the UK economy, whichin turn will indicate specific industries into which resource and effort would reap the largest future benefit. The study will also identify the extent and nature of step-change technology innovation required to achieve each AOS. Pathways to technology development will be carved out, and will feed into design and modelling activity. The practicalities of expanding the range of deployment locations to achieve higher capacity targets will be investigated. The study will examine and present the implications of the increased complexity of operating deep-water, relative to shallow and intermediate water depths. Necessary innovation will be assessed in all components, from device totransmission methods
 Supergen ORE Hub, Case for Support, 2018.
 SET-Plan, Ocean Energy Implementation Plan, 2018.