24th March

Sea Power progresses to quarter-scale wave energy testing

Irish company, Sea Power, is preparing to test its prototype 16.8m x 4.5m wave energy device at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test site, following successful small-scale trials.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the Marine Institute are collaborating to develop Ireland’s ocean energy testing infrastructure at the Lir National Ocean Test Facility in Cork; the quarter-scale test site in Galway Bay and the Atlantic Marine Energy full-scale test sight off the Mayo coast.

Sea Power Wave Energy

CEO Jim Gannon said it was encouraging to see Irish technologies progress to this stage where ocean energy was creating “huge potential” in job creation and energy security in this emerging sector for Ireland.

Read more: Sea Power progresses to quarter-scale wave energy testing

Irish marine energy firms secure State funding

Three Irish marine energy firms are to receive €3.5m in State funding to develop and test new ocean energy technologies. The announcement was made at a major two-day European conference on ocean energy in Dublin.

Open Hydro ICOE2012

Open Hydro's tidal stream device attracts interest at the 4th International Ocean Energy Conference in Dublin, October 20-21. Photo Shay Fennelly/Aquaphoto

Administered through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Ocean Energy secured €2.3m to design and build a full-scale version of their Ocean Energy (OE) Buoy wave energy converter which will be deployed and tested at the US Navy Wave Energy Test Site in Hawaii. The funding is matched by €4.5m from the US Department of Energy in a collaboration between Ireland and US using Irish ocean energy technology.

Read more: Irish marine energy firms secure State funding

Dublin conference attracts international ocean energy experts

The International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) 2012 - the largest of its type in the world which took place over three days in October at Dublin’s Convention Centre, has been hailed a major success by its host, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). 
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This was the fourth such event of its kind to focus on the global industrial development of renewable marine energy, bringing together almost 1,000 ocean energy experts from 40 countries, and included exhibits from 70 of the leading developers of ocean energy technologies.

Read more: Dublin conference attracts international ocean energy experts

Political vision and funding the way forward says ocean energy expert

Andrew Parish has over 20 years experience in a variety of areas including energy, environment, innovation, new product development and business management. He has been a director of Tonn Energy Ltd for the past four years, and after six years as CEO of Wavebob Ltd, decided recently to step down to develop other businesses “that will serve the sector“.  He remains as an advisor to Wavebob Ltd, and provides support and advice to small business through his company Parish Consulting.

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On the final day of ICOE 2012, Inshore Ireland caught up with him for a brief ‘snapshot’ of the ocean energy sector in Ireland.

Has the ICOE conference been worthwhile?

My feelings are mixed. At one level it’s been very positive to see such a large community coming together in Dublin - 900 people all focused on wave and tidal energy. It’s positive also seeing the emergence of a supply chain, as well as utilities, technology developers, and service and component suppliers.

That’s all good, and a sign that the sector is maturing. But, there’s still no money. We’re all here with an expectation and a passion to drive a new industry; however the missing ingredient is the financial engine which would actually allow us to do real commercial business.

Read more: Political vision and funding the way forward says ocean energy expert

Conference looks to technology to get more from marine resources

Businesses and researchers developing technology solutions for the marine sector will have greater opportunities to test their innovations in an ocean environment following the launch of SmartBay Ireland – a not-for-profit company.  
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Photo Prof. Fiona Regan, DCU presents Dr Mike Hartnett, NUIG with the SmartBay Research Innovator Award.

Read more: Conference looks to technology to get more from marine resources

Marine biomass to play major role in supplementing world energy requirements?...

Declan Hanniffy, Research Coordinator, OceanFuel Ltd

Today around 90% of the world’s energy consumption derives from the combustion of fossil fuels, i.e. coal, oil and natural gas are in limited supply and will one day run out. As a result, the quest for renewable energies – energies generated from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides, etc and from industrial or urban waste and biomass – started decades ago. Induced by numerous studies and energy conferences, the 27 Member States of the EU decided in 2007 that 20% of energy should come from renewable sources by 2020 (Lisbon Treaty).

There is a need to fulfil our energy consumption in a renewable and sustainable way, and aquatic biomass could be one source of this energy. Since the available area for cultivation at sea is so much larger than on land (70% of the earth’s surface is ocean) and growth rates of macroalgae (also commonly known as seaweed) are much higher than for conventional land crops, the potential for biomass production at sea is enormous.

Read more: Marine biomass to play major role in supplementing world energy requirements?...

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  • Sea Power progresses to quarter-scale wave energy ...
  • Irish marine energy firms secure State funding