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UK Businesses Forging Ahead to Meet China’s Undimmed Low Carbon Energy Demand

30/06/2020

Eight UK organisations have signed significant new agreements to develop and provide renewable energy technologies, services and research in China, at a virtual ceremony hosted in Yantai City, Shandong Province.

The eight innovators, from backgrounds as diverse as Formula 1, robotics, oil and gas, marine energy and digital, have all been supported by TORC, the joint venture research and incubation centre established in March 2019 by the UK’s Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult and China’s Tus Wind.

Anakata Wind Power Ltd, the Oxford-based aerodynamics specialists with a pedigree in Formula 1 design, has created Tus-Aero, a 50:50 joint venture company with Tus-Wind, to develop and supply its performance improving aerodynamic blade add-ons. Anakata has been working with TORC for the past year and has installed its technology on a number of Chinese onshore windfarms, proving a potential 6% annual energy increase on the world’s most installed turbine, with over 22,000 in operation in China.

Six further UK companies have signed Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) with TORC to develop collaborative projects for the Chinese market:

Aleron Group, Aberdeen-based specialists in remotely operated vehicles for the oil and gas industry, they design and manufacture advanced subsea robotic systems and will bring their MultiRov product to the Chinese market.

Blueprint Subsea, based in Cumbria, design and manufacture products for the offshore, subsea and commercial diving markets, aiming to bring the latest advances in technology to our customers at an affordable cost without comprising on quality or function.

Logan Energy, Edinburgh-based experts in hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, designing, installing, commissioning, and maintaining integrated energy systems across the UK and Europe.

Miros Scotland, Aberdeen-based technology company with more than 35 years of experience providing sensors and systems for environmental monitoring to the global offshore and maritime industry. Miros delivers accurate, real-time, local wave and weather data on- or offshore and on any device.  Miros has been collaborating with ORE Catapult since 2019.

REOptimize Systems, an Edinburgh-based start-up born from the Institute of Energy Systems (IES), delivering a system-wide approach to the optimisation of control settings of wind turbines, using machine learning & holistic system simulation. They will collaborate with TORC on bringing a wind turbine performance assessment and optimization service to market in China.

ZOEX Wave Power, a wave energy technology developer based in Aberdeen, has designed a modular device to be attached to existing structures such as breakwaters, offshore wind platforms and aquaculture farms. They will collaborate with TORC to identify manufacture and demonstration partners in Asia.

In addition, a new academic research partnership has been formed, with an MOU between TORC and Harbin Engineering University (HEU) /Exeter University. Prof. Lars Johanning is in charge of the HEU Yantai research activities and a leading academic in marine renewables in the UK. His team will collaborate on developing an international academic / industry partnership to develop marine renewables.

Dr. Stephen Wyatt, ORE Catapult Director of Research and Disruptive Innovation, said:
“We are delighted that these companies have partnered with our research and innovation centre in Yantai to take their world-leading technology to the Chinese offshore wind market, which is forecast to be the biggest in the world by 2030.  Through TORC, our unique partnership between ORE Catapult and Tus Wind, we can provide the necessary support to ensure these companies succeed in China.”

Commenting at the signing ceremony in Yantai, Senior Vice President, Tus Holdings and Chairman of TORC, Charlie Du, said:
"The ocean energy industry in China is growing at 20% per year and will be the largest such market in the world over the next 20 years. Supporting, nurturing and developing the world’s leading marine science expertise and technology from both the UK and China will play an instrumental role in driving the world’s economic recovery from the Coronavirus.”

Ben Wood, Founder and CEO of Anakata Wind Power, said:
"After less than a year working with TORC, the formation of Tus-Aero is a massive step forward, with ambition to create a global leader in improving onshore and offshore wind turbine blade efficiency. We represent a fusion of Formula One innovation and wind turbine aerodynamics, combining UK and Chinese technology and experience to provide services to maintain aerodynamic excellence.

“Working with TORC over the past year to demonstrate our technology at scale in China has already enabled us to build our engineering team in the UK and more than doubled our business development activities in Europe.”

Bill Ireland, CEO of Logan Energy, said:
"China has ambitious goals to develop into a hydrogen society, which is why there has been a surge in hydrogen and fuel cell development – it hopes that hydrogen will account for 10% of its energy system by 2040. Hydrogen is a valuable way for China to meet its climate and pollution goals without increased reliance on imported fuels.

“It’s great to be working with TUS-ORE Catapult to explore the positive impact that hydrogen applications could have within Chinese aquaculture, and to be part of the strengthening links between China and Britain.”

Andreas Brekke, CEO of Miros Group, said:
"We are excited to be a part of this initiative and to have the opportunity to support the impressive speed and scale of China’s offshore wind development.”

Richard Crozier, Managing Director, REOptimize Systems, said:
"We are very excited about this unparalleled opportunity to establish our company in China with the support of TORC, increasing our chances of commercial success. We will be looking to strengthen our offering by partnering with TORC and the other UK SMEs that are part of this programme.”

KeyFacts Energy Industry Directory: ORE Catapult

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