China and UK collaborate on renewable energy

Updated 2017-09-12 11:00:17

Researchers from the United Kingdom and China will collaborate on five projects to develop the "next generation" of technology in wind and wave power.

The UK's Natural Environment Research Council and the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council have pledged 4 million pounds (.3 million) in funding over the next three years for the projects, which will also receive funding from the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

NSFC President Yang Wei said: "Further advancing China's already world-leading renewable energy sector is an integral part of the country's 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20) and will help drive future economic growth and advance the cause of low-carbon development."

The announcement comes as offshore wind energy prices in Britain continue to fall. The UK government held a wind farm auction on Monday, where two firms agreed to build facilities for 57.50 pounds per megawatt hour.

The price is half what new wind farms were built for just two years ago, and means offshore wind power will be cheaper than nuclear energy in the UK for the first time.

Under the new initiative, which is part of the Joint UK-China Offshore Renewable Energy program, Oxford University and Shanghai Jiao Tong University will look into structural designs that will increase the resilience of wind turbines in typhoon conditions.

A project headed by Imperial College London and Zhejiang University will utilize data science and computing to create predicting capabilities that support the design of more economical offshore windfarms.

The University of Exeter and Dalian University of Technology will look to increase resiliency in floating offshore wind platforms.

A project led by the University of Strathclyde and Chongqing University will look to use virtual prototyping in the design and optimization of the mechanisms that convert energy absorbed by wave energy generators into useable electricity.

And Cranfield University and Harbin Engineering University will explore potential synergies in the installation and operation of different offshore energy facilities, with the aim of lowering overall costs.

Earlier this year, energy research firm Westwood Global Energy Group predicted that global offshore wind energy capacity will increase fivefold between 2017 and 2025. Almost half of the projected 289 billion euros (5.7 billion) of total investment will be directed toward projects in the UK and China.

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