C3 - Design for safe and cost-effective installation methods.

C - Materials and Manufacturing

Status - published
Last updated on: 22/03/2022


Marine renewables and deep water offshore wind require reduction of installation costs through innovative methods while maintaining safety levels. Currently, installation approaches involve putting people into a hazardous working environment and this situation needs to be addressed.


To develop designs of ORE facility that require less offshore human activity during the installation process.

Context And Need

Offshore operations are inherently dangerous; A considerable portion of CAPEX and OPEX is due to installation requirements both for marine renewables as well as deep water wind installations.


Marine renewables and deep water offshore wind turbines require reduction of installation costs through innovative methods while maintaining safety levels.

Impact Potential

What is the potential impact on CAPEX, OPEX, performance, survivability, reliability, arrays, and adoptability.

Expected potential impact is very high in for safety and CAPEX.

UK capacity to benefit


Research Status

Installation has to a large extent been an afterthought with the primary device design having been optimised for optimum operational costs. Development of installation processes has not been a part of overall concept development and hence generic solutions have not been studied systematically. Carbon Trust and device specific projects have existed but there is no awareness of any generic human-free installation projects.


Supergen ORE Hub flexible funding Research

  • Cost Effective Methods of Installing Offshore Wind Infrastructure
    Lead Institution: Aberdeen University
    This collaborative research proposal addresses a need for the development of novel, more efficient and cost effective methods for the installation of offshore windfarms. This is especially important in the context of the quest for obtaining Net Zero goals in the UK and is also of interest for temporary power supply during decommissioning of offshore Oil & Gas assets. The project builds on patented pumpable variable buoyancy technology (Deepbuoy), based on noncompressible liquids (deployable at depths up to 3000 m), incorporated into the Underwater Lifting System (ULS), developed and validated through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership project funded by Innovate UK to Technology Readiness Level 5. The proposed research programme will be underpinned by detailed modelling studies utilizing a state-of-the-art, real-time, real-physics Marine Simulator. This will be used to build models of the Deepbuoy technology to assess its applicability, benefits in terms of costs and reduced carbon footprint for installation of wind farms infrastructure.

    This project will also benefit from support Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult's Floating Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence (FoW CoE).


Links to Industry Priorities:


Active research projets:

Previous research projects:

  • A review of potential impacts of submarine power cables on the marine environment: Knowledge gaps, recommendations and future directions: Submarine power cables (SPC) have been in use since the mid-19th century, but environmental concerns about them are much more recent. With the development of marine renewable energy technologies, it is vital to understand their potential impacts. The commissioning of SPC may temporarily or permanently impact the marine environment through habitat damage or loss, noise, chemical pollution, heat and electromagnetic field emissions, risk of entanglement, the introduction of artificial substrates, and the creation of reserve effects. While growing numbers of scientific publications focus on impacts of the marine energy harnessing devices, data on impacts of associated power connections such as SPC are scarce and knowledge gaps persist. The present study (1) examines the different categories of potential ecological effects of SPC during installation, operation and decommissioning phases and hierarchizes these types of interactions according to their ecological relevance and existing scientific knowledge, (2) identifies the main knowledge gaps and needs for research, and (3) sets recommendations for better monitoring and mitigation of the most significant impacts. Overall, ecological impacts associated with SPC can be considered weak or moderate, although many uncertainties remain, particularly concerning electromagnetic effects.


We would also like to invite UK researchers and industry stakeholders within ORE to submit links to research projects, both past and present, for inclusion within the landscape.

Therefore, if you have a UK-based research project within an area of ORE that you feel is relevant to a specific research theme or challenge within the Research Landscape, click HERE to submit your research project to the research landscape


PhD projects in Offshore Renewable Energy

In order to better understand the breadth of ORE research currently being conducted in the UK, the Supergen ORE Hub has collated from its academic network, UK Centres for Doctoral Training and Industrial partners, a list of PhDs currently being undertaken in ORE.

Access a PDF of the list and find out more about including your PhD.

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