The current 3 most challenging aspects of Renewable Energy Generation are interconnected issues that all need to be considered as we rapidly transition the world’s energy systems to cost effective, reliable and environment friendly renewable energy. The main challenges are to
- bring down the levelised cost of renewable energy (LCOE: the average net present cost of electricity generation for a generating structure over its lifetime). But we must do so in a way that
- minimizes or even mitigate the environmental and ecological impact while providing a just social transition and
- allowing enhanced reliability of supply of the types and times of power demand.
These challenges will require more focus on inter-disciplinary research that cuts across the academic areas of engineering, economic, ecological, social and legal study. The University of Aberdeen is world leading as a unique place that supports the study and performance of cutting edge research in just such inter and multidisciplinary groups.
Large areas of expertise and interdisciplinary research group within
- Renewable Energy Technology Innovation, including wind and tidal turbine smart blades, floating wind and tidal turbines; windfarm multi-criteria layout optimisation and new decommissioning processes that can also include a range of multi-use options within large scale arrays that can include natural solutions for net environmental gain. DecomTools
- Environmental and Social Change from Renewables, including mapping/assessing effects of noise (deployment, operation and decommissioning), individual animal behaviour change, predictive spatial population and ecosystem level changes including interaction with climate change, Ecosystem Services and Natural Capital evaluations and policy development for a Just Transition. UoA Lighthouse, Supergen ORE , CORPORATES, FLOWBEC
- Renewable Energy Employment & Implementation of current wind, PV, solar thermal, hydrogen/fuel cell, battery, pressurised hydro technologies through a comprehensive multi-criteria, cost-benefit assessment with the end-users and environment and ecological impact at the centre of the design process. MOHRES