Marine Renewable Energy Career Opportunities Are Showcased by Operation Celtic Odyssey

Article excerpt

Byline: Dr Miles Willis

Wales has the potential to produce nearly twice the amount of electricity it currently uses through wholly renewable sources by 2025. Approximately half of this amount could be generated from our coastline - in particular from our tides and waves. The Carbon Trust recently announced that the marine energy sector could provide more than 68,000 jobs in the UK by 2050, contributing pounds 76bn to the UK economy.

Funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) has enabled the Low Carbon Research Institute in Wales (LCRI) to conduct industry-focused research to underpin the creation of the marine renewables sector by providing independent research to policy-makers and technology developers.

Scientists from around the Welsh coastline have come together to find answers to questions that could potentially hold up the development of the sector.

In order to start to answer some of these engineering/environmental questions the LCRI has recently completed a two-week research expedition called Operation Celtic Odyssey to Ramsey Sound, Pembrokeshire.

Research vessels from Swansea and Cardiff Universities collected the necessary oceanographic and environmental data to feed into complex computer models developed throughout the Welsh University partners.

Swansea University's Dr Ian Masters, a lecturer in mechanical engineering and principal investigator of the research, said: "The team were observing marine wildlife, undertaking 3D modelling of the seabed and turbulence, studying fish behaviour and measuring background noise. …