Energy

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Context

The development of renewable energies has become essential to mitigate climate change, as the depletion of fossil fuels reserves is dramatically going on and as the climate change has become one of the most critical issues in recent years. Moreover, renewable resources will make a strong contribution to Europe’s energy needs.  Therefore, offshore energy could provide a considerable supply of clean renewable energy worldwide. Wind energy offshore has been the fastest growing renewable energy source and is now a reality in relatively shallow waters, mainly in the UK and the Baltic regions. According to a recent study of the European Environment Agency (EEA Technical report, 2009), the EU offshore wind resource offers a huge potential. Offshore wind should be able to contribute substantially to the target of 20% share of wind energy in the final EU electricity consumption by 2020 (2009 European Directive on Renewable Energy Sources). Yet, they are today relatively untapped resources: although offshore wind farms are being built in a number of European countries with more farms planned for the future, technical and economic constraints limit the opportunities for deployment, particularly in deep waters. Ocean energy resources are likewise currently limited by technical and economic constraints. However, the potential to integrate offshore wind and ocean energy into multi-use platforms could allow for growth of these sectors by improving their economic feasibility. This growth would provide increased levels of renewable energy production and would create many new jobs in Europe.These new models could also contribute to harness wind energy in the Tropical, Subtropical and Mediterranean waters in Europe and at world level. In addition, OMRs have a strong energy potential in their marine resources, notably offshore wind and ocean thermal energy.

Benefits with Tropos

A renewable energy mix will be integrated to the multi-purpose platform: wind energy, solar energy (through photovoltaic technology) and ocean wave energy conversion. The Tropos project will contribute to advances to the EU Wind Offshore development by studying how the Tropos platform could be installed in water depths beyond 50m, adding an innovative component to the substructure concepts, and by enabling turbines to be mounted on the platforms. In addition, Tropos platformwill provide fully serviced and manned floating transformer and control stations for offshore wind parks connected as satellite units, including intervention capacities for unforeseen maintenance or emergency issues.Lastly, synergies, limitations and economic viabilityof the integration of the different technologies developed will be analysedregarding offshore wind, ocean thermal and wave energies exploitation.

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