With the dire warnings of power consumption levels in European countries outpacing supply in the possible near future, the emphasis on the viability of different energy sources is a discussion that is moving further into the mainstream all the time.
Renewable resources that can be used to generate energy, such as wind, solar and ocean power, are at the forefront of the efforts to come up with 'clean' methods that could both cut consumer costs and reduce environmental concerns.
However, there are also other processes that whilst they may have more in common with the more traditional and established methods, are themselves relatively new. These include both inland fracking processes and underwater subsea developments.
The impact that underwater and ocean power operations are having in the field of energy production can be seen in the way that major international corporations are accelerating their investment in large scale projects.
Samsung, the South Korean technology company that has successfully challenged Apple for the crown in the world's smartphone market, is aiming to position its Samsung Heavy Industries arm as the dominant force in this market. This will be both as a builder of high end and specialised eco-friendly vessels and by improving its offshore engineering capabilities.
The planned moves by the company will see a diversification into the highly specialised subsea engineering operations, such as the drillship picture above, which have been revolutionising the oil and gas industries in recent years.
Indeed, the companys avowed aim is to be the global leader in the field, with a target of 50% of their revenue from offshore operations. Samsung Heavy Industries has now won orders for 59 of the 139 units of drill ships ever ordered worldwide, giving it a market share of 42%.
Subsea in the UK
In the UK, the subsea industry has had a major positive impact in the North East in recent years, with a 50% growth in the past three years alone, contributing a current total of £1.5 billion in annual revenues.
The levels of investment from firms involved in both the extraction process and the manufacture and supply of the heavy plant machinery and equipment needed means that more than 15,000 people are now employed by the industry in the region.
Recent Government figures suggest that British industry overall has benefited from investment levels to the tune of £8.9 billion and an overall boost in employment from 66,000 associated jobs.
Subsea seems to be a target for the savy and future focussed of market leaders, working to ensure their future is a self-sustainable one.