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Speakers corner 26 March 2024

EERA CCS Insights: Navigating the Future of Offshore Energy Sustainability

EERA CCS Insights: Navigating the Future of Offshore Energy Sustainability

The European Energy Research Alliance's Joint Programme on Carbon Capture and Storage (EERA CCS) recently spotlighted the "Managing the Environmental Sustainability of the Offshore Energy Transition (MOET)" project. This initiative, led by Hazel Napier and Jim White of the British Geological Survey in collaboration with Plymouth Marine Laboratory and the National Oceanography Centre, undertakes the UK's first comprehensive examination of how expanding offshore energy infrastructures interacts with marine environments and existing marine-based activities. Here's what we learned:

The Core of MOET

The UK's journey towards net-zero by 2050 heavily leans on advancing offshore wind, blue and green hydrogen storage, and CO2 storage technologies. The MOET project addresses the subsequent environmental and social impacts of these infrastructures, focusing on the holistic study of their expansion. Through cross-disciplinary teamwork, MOET aims to foster evidence-based decisions for offshore regulation and operational best practices on the UK continental shelf.

Interdisciplinary Methodologies

  • Offshore Strategy Needs: MOET's mission underscores the necessity for an overarching strategy that accommodates the complex dynamics between varying offshore activities and the marine environment.
  • Regulatory Frameworks: A recurring theme was the need for clear regulatory frameworks that account for the co-location of energy infrastructures and their environmental impact.
  • Public Perception and Societal Impact: Another focus area is the societal perspective — understanding community reactions and the social ramifications of the offshore energy transition.

Forward Stride: Stakeholder Engagement and Upcoming Activities

The webinar underscored the vital role of stakeholder engagement in driving the project forward. The comprehensive stakeholder list includes industry partners, environmental organizations, and government departments, emphasizing a broad-based approach to address offshore energy challenges. Planned activities include focused engagement sessions, sector-specific meetings, and stakeholder workshops to delve deeper into concerns like regulatory landscapes, co-location strategies, and the cumulative impacts of offshore development.

The MOET project stands as a testament to the necessity of interdisciplinary research and stakeholder collaboration in tackling the environmental and social challenges of offshore energy development. It is a model for future research efforts, aiming to align technological advancements with environmental stewardship and societal well-being.

Join the Conversation

This webinar is part of an ongoing series hosted by EERA CCS. The series is one of the many benefits of being a member of our joint programme, fostering a dynamic environment where researchers, academics, and industry professionals can discuss, challenge, and enhance their understanding of critical topics in the field. This consistent exchange of knowledge and ideas through such webinars contributes to EERA CCS's mission of accelerating the development and deployment of carbon capture, transport, and storage technologies.