E4 - Sustainable whole-life design methods

E - Survivability, Reliability and Design

Status - published
Last updated on: 26/03/2020


Offshore renewable energy systems are designed without a planned use when life expired, which reduces sustainability.


Develop new concepts, components, design and processes, that unlock whole life designs which extend new and existing facilities into recycling, reuse, repair, decommissioning and/or repowering.

Context And Need

Offshore renewable energy systems have a limited operating life, consume significant raw materials and involve placing significant infrastructure in the oceans. Currently, designs are not influenced by considerations beyond the operating life, and few ORE facilities are reaching end of life so this issue has not yet been faced.

The oil and gas industry is facing major decommissioning costs borne partly by the taxpayer which could have been reduced or avoided if decommissioning, reuse or recycling was considered earlier in design.

There is a need to address these issues earlier in the ORE sector to learn from the lessons of the oil and gas industry. This will improve the long term cost profile of ORE developments and will increase the social and environmental acceptability of ORE.


Develop new component technologies, system design concepts and processes, that unlock whole life design improvements that extend into recycling, reuse, repair, decommissioning and/or repower.

Impact Potential

Reduced whole life cost - economic and environmental.

Higher social acceptance - contrast with oil and gas experiences.

Research Status

Links to Industry Priorities:

Offshore Wind Innovation Hub - Turbines innovation priorities



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


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