It's fantastic to live in a time where great changes and breakthroughs in development are happening. In this regard, my generation (1960s) has been fortunate to be a part of tremendous technological leaps like personal computers, internet and mobile phones. Currently, at the beginning of the 0s and the 10s we're witnessing yet another great leap: The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
Global political goals are very clear and ambitious – and the results are following closely. From 2004 – 2011, the renewable share of global power capacity shot up from a mere 5% to an impressive 30%. This was a direct result of investments which have been increasing yearly by 25 – 75%, with a cumulative increase of 600%. This has effectively beaten all industries, including the arms sector.
So it is happening – it's happening now and it's happening fast.
The better part of renewable energy production is related to water and water environments. Hydropower is by far the largest contributor to renewable power production worldwide. At the same time, wind (especially off shore wind) energy is increasingly gaining ground. Other forms of water-related renewable energy, namely tidal and wave power are still in the early days. However, they possess tremendous potential and the technology is maturing as we speak. For example, in the Pent land Firth in Scotland, the first commercial tidal power concessions have been released. When the tidal energy potential of the Firth is wholly harnessed, it will be able to account for 20% of the total power consumption in the U.K.
With a heritage of global knowledge & experience in water environments, and local presence worldwide, we contribute significantly to the development of the renewable energy sector. Our in-depth understanding of hydropower is contributing to smarter siting, construction design and operation of hydropower dams, off shore wind mill farms and tidal turbines. With our expertise in water environments, we help to drive sustainable production of renewable energy. We take steps to ensure that the massive buildup of off shore wind turbines in Northern Europe does not impact the marine environment and create barriers for the major flight routes of migratory birds. We offer various services to ensure that environmental flows in intensely dammed river system remain as unchanged as possible, thereby preserving the ecosystem.
We are investing in Research & Development (R&D) to pursue the further development of technology. By doing this, we aim to increase the cost- and time-efficiency of the design, planning, construction and Operation & Management (O&M) processes in renewable energy development.
We would like to be the ones you call when things become really difficult. We are using our R&D investments to spearhead the technology leaps that become imperative when venturing further off shore into harsher physical environments and more pristine & sensitive ecosystems.
I invite you to read this newsletter. In it, you will find case stories of successful projects that we have undertaken. This edition also contains news articles about our recent initiatives to drive renewable energy forward.
If you have any queries, please give us a call – I am sure we can help you!
Jørgen Erik Larsen
Head of Marine Department DHI Australia