Government funding of €3.5m awarded to three Irish marine energy firms
27 October 2015
Government funding of €3.5 million has been awarded to three Irish marine energy firms for the development and testing of new ocean energy technologies. The announcement, made at a major European conference on ocean energy taking place in Dublin on October 20, will see the three companies – Ocean Energy, SeaPower and GKinetic – receive funding from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
The company Ocean Energy has secured €2.3 million to design and build a full-scale version of its Ocean Energy (OE) Buoy wave energy converter which will be deployed and tested at the US Navy Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii. This funding is being matched by €4.5 million from the US Department of Energy, highlighting how Ireland is collaborating with international markets to progress ocean energy development.
The international nature of the ocean energy sector is evident at the conference with representatives attending from US, Canada, Australia and all parts of Europe. Energy Minister Alex White said: “I am committed to seeing the ocean energy sector deliver on its potential. I believe that Ireland has put in place the right building blocks to unlock the enormous potential around us. Collaboration is key.
“Ireland is open for business, and keen to explore collaborative opportunities, whether with our near neighbours, or further afield such as with the US. International collaboration is in fact identified in Ireland’s Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan as a key policy action to facilitate the development of the sector. I am delighted to see Irish companies progressing and securing significant national, and in some cases international funding.”
The announcement was made at the annual Ocean Energy Europe conference which brings together key industry players and policy makers in the ocean energy sector. Sponsored by SEAI, the event convenes in Dublin for the first time with more than 300 delegates to gather in Croke Park from October 20-21.
SEAI has been supporting the development of ocean energy in Ireland for a number of years with 65 technology projects supported to date. SeaPower will receive over €1 million to test its wave energy converter at quarter scale in Galway Bay, while GKinetic Energy will receive €200,000 to conduct towing tests of its Tidal Turbine System in Limerick Docks.
Commenting on the enterprise opportunity of the growing ocean energy sector Brian Motherway, CEO of SEAI, said: “This is an exciting time for ocean energy in Ireland. With a sea area 10 times our land mass, this market has the potential to be worth €15 billion to Ireland’s economy by 2050. Already, Irish companies are making innovative technology developments and we are sending a message globally that Ireland is open for ocean energy business.”
Speaking on behalf of Ocean Energy, Professor Tony Lewis, chief technical officer, said: “This funding announcement will enable a milestone project for both Ireland and the USA and it is a welcome endorsement not only for Ocean Energy but for the entire marine renewables industry.”
Further details on Ireland’s ocean energy offering is available at www.oceanenergyireland.com