Zero-carbon, renewable energy which is cost-competitive with fossil fuel generated sources is surely the Holy Grail of the engineering world.
Now, a new spin-off company from The University of Nottingham is aiming to prove that far from being just a pipe dream, one new form of green energy could be in widespread use within 15 years and at a fraction of the cost of its nearest competitor.
NIMROD Energy Ltd is being launched by Professor Seamus Garvey, based on the Integrated Compressed Air Renewable Energy Systems (ICARES) research which he has been developing since early in 2006.
The technology is centered on a simple premise — using giant wind turbines to compress and pump air into huge undersea Energy Bags™ anchored to the seabed — or geological formations where deep water is not available. The high pressure air would be expanded in special turbo-generator sets to provide electricity as required — not just when the wind is blowing. It would see vast floating offshore ‘energy farms’ created off the coastline around the UK.
Professor Garvey said: “The UK has abundant offshore renewable energy resource — enough to supply all of our energy several times over. We also have a strong internal energy market — worth well over £60 billion per year. We have an economy desperately in need of rebooting its manufacturing base and an engineering capability which is the finest in the world.
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- Green promise (news.bbc.co.uk)