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Marine Resources


October 2015 Issue

EU Grant to Improve Oyster Performance
Aquamarine Power and the National University of Ireland, Maynooth (NUIM) have secured an €800,000 EU Horizon 2020 grant to improve the performance of Aquamarine Power’s Oyster wave energy converter.

The company has already built and operated two full-scale Oyster machines at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, Scotland.

The INNOWAVE program will enable three Ph.D. researchers to explore ways to optimize the energy capture and economic performance of Oyster. One project will look at all aspects of Oyster design from an economic perspective, measured over the lifetime of a wave energy project.

The other two projects will look at the development and implementation of control systems applicable to shore-based and offshore power take-off systems. The grant follows the announcement of £2 million of funding from Wave Energy Scotland to Aquamarine Power, Bosch Rexroth and Carnegie Wave Energy to complete testing of their scale prototype and deliver the design and specification for a full-scale prototype WavePOD offshore power take-off system.

LNG Fuel Forum On Maritime Challenges
The industry forum “LNG as a Marine Fuel: Addressing the Challenges” was held in conjunction with London International Shipping Week 2015. It explored the commercial and environmental advantages of using LNG as a fuel, challenges associated with increasing adoption and implications for the future.

Among the topics discussed were: development of an innovative gas supply vessel that will support LNG-fueled ships and delivery of gas to small onshore facilities and large off-pipe consumers; first-mover advantage, economies of scale and the impact of regulation and oil prices on the com- mercial viability of using LNG as a marine fuel; the importance of legislation and corresponding economic factors; importance of maintaining the current safety record in the LNG sector; and improved and new training approaches to improve the competence of talent in the gas sector.

US Ocean, Great Lakes Economy Surpasses GDP
The U.S. ocean economy outpaced the domestic economy between 2011 and 2012, with an increase of $22 billion in gross domestic product, from $321 billion to $343 billion, according to a new NOAA analysis.

This increase equates to a 10.5 percent rate of growth—more than four times faster than the U.S. economy as a whole.

The report is based on 2012 U.S. national economic statistics released in August 2014.

Five of the six ocean economy sectors grew faster than the national average of 2.5 percent. Offshore mineral extraction grew most dramatically of all. The study looked at coastal marine construction, living resources, offshore mineral extraction, ship and boat building, tourism and recreation, and marine transportation.

NOAA’s 2012 Report on the U.S. Ocean and Great Lakes Economy shows how dependent local businesses are on the U.S. ocean and Great Lakes. In 2012, these sectors employed 2.9 million people—more than crop production, telecommunication, and building construction combined.

The U.S. ocean and Great Lakes economy covers six sectors in 30 coastal states.

Kuwait Joins Ramsar Convention on Wetlands
Kuwait has become the 169th contracting party of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The Convention came into force in Kuwait in September.

Kuwait announced the designation of the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Reserve onto the List of Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Sites).

The site becomes the latest addition to more than 2,200 Ramsar Sites around the world, considered to be of international importance because of the valuable ecosystem services and benefits they provide to people and the environment.

CSEM Survey of
Gas Hydrates Complete

Ocean Floor Geophysics Ltd. (OFG), in cooperation with Fukada Salvage and Marine Works Co. Ltd. (Fukada), has completed another high-resolution CSEM survey of near-surface gas hydrates using the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Vulcan system for the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Japanese waters.

Following the successful 3D CSEM survey and inversion models completed in 2014, the 2015 survey comprises more than 670 line km of high-resolution data. A 3D inversion of the EM data for an area of interest for this year’s survey has been completed. The contract for the 3D inversion of the data for the entire 2015 survey area has also been awarded to OFG and will be completed in November this year.

World’s Largest OTEC Plant Opens in Hawaii
Makai Ocean Engineering celebrated the completion of the world’s largest operational ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) power plant with a dedication ceremony at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA).

Makai’s OTEC power plant uses the temperature difference between the ocean’s cold deep water and warm surface water to generate clean, renewable electricity that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The NELHA-sited plant will generate 100 kW of sustainable, continuous electricity—enough to power 120 Hawaii homes annually.

The breakthrough marks the first true closed-cycle OTEC plant to be connected to a U.S. electrical grid, and repre- sents a major achievement for Hawaii, the U.S. and marine renewable energy.

The research and development at the plant was funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) through the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), and the infrastructure was funded by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC).

Accrued electricity revenues from this power plant will sustain research and development of OTEC technology.

A potential next phase for OTEC development at NELHA is being considered by an international consortium under the Okinawa-Hawaii clean energy agreement.


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