Cork's largest-ever conference begins on Monday

Cork's largest-ever conference begins on Monday

Dr. Jimmy Murphy, Manager, Lir National Ocean Test Facility; Prof. Jerry Murphy, Director, SFI MaREI Centre, UCC; Prof. Brian Ó Gallachóir, Director, SFI MaREI Centre, UCC; Prof. Sarah Culloty, Director, Environmental Research Institute, UCC; Dr. Cian Desmond, Chair of WESC 2019 and Research Fellow, in UCC ahead of the international wind energy conference.

The largest association conference to ever take place in Cork begins on Monday, worth €1.4m to the Cork economy.

This will be the first time the Wind Energy Science Conference (WESC) has taken place outside of mainland Europe.

The event brings 900 of the world’s leading wind energy scientists and engineers from over 38 countries to Cork for a four-day event.

It is chaired by Dr Cian Desmond, a Research Fellow in UCC, who won the event for Cork following a competitive bidding process between Europe’s top research institutions.

Dr Desmond and members of the Offshore Renewable Energy Group at the Marine and Renewable Energy Research, Development and Innovation centre (MaREI) in Ringaskiddy have managed to more than double the number of delegates attending in previous years by restructuring the conference, broadening its themes, and tapping into their strong academic networks across Europe.

The ground-breaking research carried out at UCC was also a huge selling points for international delegates. Delegates will be encouraged to explore some of the best food, music, sport and culture that Cork has to offer with trips to Spike Island, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork City Goal and other key attractions along with a banquet dinner in the Clayton Hotel Silver Springs. Dr Desmond said: “The aim of the conference is to create a multidisciplinary open forum for discussion where scientists and engineers can explore the latest developments in wind energy science, spot emerging trends and identify future collaborators.

“Whilst wind energy is a mature technology, there are a number of complex open research questions. To provide innovative solutions we need to start conversations between diverse scientific groups and forge new collaborative research relationships”.

Up for discussion is the development of floating wind turbines which Dr Jimmy Murphy says promises to be “the next big thing” in renewable energy generation, due to potential for mass production and lower environmental impact compared to bottom fixed offshore wind turbines.

A symposium dedicated to Floating Wind Energy will bring together a number of the world’s leading researchers from China, Germany and the USA to discuss how to accelerate the uptake of floating technologies, risk mitigation and other pressing topics.

Other highlights will include a demonstration of a commercial floating wind energy platform which is currently being tested in the Lir, the National Ocean Test Facility; a discussion with EirGrid, Ireland’s electricity power grid provider, on the challenges faced by grid operators when there is a high percentage of wind energy on the system; and sessions which will focus on airborne wind energy systems, a potential game-changing technology which will allow wind energy to be generated by drones and kites flying at high altitudes.

Evelyn O’Sullivan, manager of Cork Convention Bureau, said, “We are delighted to have been involved with Dr Cian Desmond in the original bid submission to bring the Wind Energy Science Conference to Cork in 2019.

WESC will be the largest association conference to be held here bringing a lot to the local economy based on the value of each international delegate being €1,600.”

For more information or to register for the conference see wesc2019.org

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