Balancing the navigational safety, efficiency and financial aspects of offshore renewable energy installations

01/25/2017 - 15:00-01/25/2017 - 16:30


Raza Ali Mehdi
(World Maritime University)
Aykut Ölcer
(World Maritime University)
Michael Baldauf
(World Maritime University)


Raza Mehdi

The increasing number and sizes of offshore renewable energy installations (OREIs), combined with the ambitious plans for future developments in the sector, portray a bleak outlook for ‘traditional’ maritime and marine players: if the current plans for OREIs are realized, sea-space will become increasingly restricted for activities such as shipping.

Sustained growth of both OREIs and shipping may thus lead to situations where certain risk control options (RCOs) need to be adapted in order to maintain safety – despite the fact that such measures themselves may be counter-productive in terms of energy efficiency or financial sustainability. This leads to the question: is there a point when implementing certain RCOs actually makes an OREI project unfeasible? And if so, how does one determine this critical point?

In this paper, we describe a holistic framework that allows decision makers to harmoniously evaluate the safety, energy efficiency and financial sustainability aspects of OREIs. 

We consider a selection of vital factors and parameters in the current framework – such as energy yield, resource (e.g. wind, wave, tide) availability, carbon debt and payback, ship emissions, traffic data, navigational risk models, O&M costs, and installation and decommissioning costs – and discuss how the different data sets can be integrated into a single framework. We also describe a novel evaluation tool that can allow users to ‘plot’ the output of the proposed framework.

We also discuss how the framework can be further expanded to take into consideration marine environmental protection aspects.