Scotland Forum to Colocate Future Offshore Wind, CCS Projects

Offshore wind turbines

(Credit: University of Aberdeen)

by | Nov 30, 2023

Scotland’s Offshore Wind and Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) Colocation Forum has commissioned two research projects that will colocate future offshore wind and CCS activities and test for viable areas of development.

The two projects, Project Colocate and Project Anemone will work towards the United Kingdom’s goal of delivering 50 gigawatts of offshore wind energy and capturing 20 million to 30 million tons of carbon each year by 2030. Finite seabed space due to competing offshore sectors makes colocation for these clean technologies increasingly important, according to the forum.

Project Colocate will investigate seabeds on the East Irish Sea and Central North Sea where projects may be colocated and will create monitoring plans for each area.

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen will contribute to the Forum’s goal of creating a pipeline of potential test and demonstration sites for the future. Funding will be provided by The Crown Estate and Crown Estate Scotland.

“The offshore wind and CCS capability of the U.K. needs to develop at a rapid rate if the country is to meet its 2050 net-zero target and build electricity supply,” said Adrian Topham, chair of the OW and CCS Colocation Forum at the Crown Estate. “The Crown Estate is determined to maximize the potential of the seabed by ensuring a coordinated approach to its management that enables the colocation of offshore wind and CCS infrastructure.”

Project Anemone to Establish Guidelines for Future CCS, Offshore Wind Projects

Project Anemone will reportedly complement Project Colocate’s efforts by identifying and mapping routes to potential locations and creating guidelines for how CCS and offshore wind may operate side-by-side through construction and decommissioning. Support for this project will come from NECCUS, an alliance supporting industrial decarbonization in Scotland, among other developers.

“Project Colocate will identify areas of the seabed that are potentially viable for colocation, whilst Project Anemone will help uncover how future practical demonstration might proceed,” said Topham. “Together, both projects will help pave the way for test and demonstration, as well as facilitating greater collaboration and understanding between these two vital sectors.”

The projects may help further grow the U.K.’s expansive wind power profile, which will reportedly need to add about 3 GW of wind capacity each year to meet its goal of running on 80% renewable energy by 2050.

Offshore CCS typically implies the storage of carbon beneath the ocean surface, and some parties are skeptical of these CCS technologies. However, due to the amount of emissions already present in the atmosphere, the International Energy Agency said the technology will be necessary to meet net-zero targets. Many countries have committed to increased funding toward CCS as it currently requires considerable scaling-up to meet needed emissions removals.

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