The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has announced a total grant award of €4.3m (U.S.$4.7m)to 15 new marine energy projects underway in 2016 under its Prototype Development Fund. The announcement was made as SEAI in conjunction with Enterprise Ireland hosts an “Ireland open for business” exhibition at the 6th International Conference for Ocean Energy in Edinburgh.
Along with representatives from the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR), MaREI (Marine Renewable Energy Ireland), the Lir National Ocean Test Facility, Smartbay, and the Marine Institute of Ireland, the aim of the Irish delegation is to attract investors and interested parties to Ireland’s growing ocean energy sector.
Irish companies are also succeeding in international projects and yesterday four Irish companies (UCC, DP Energy, EireComposites and TFI) were announced as part of a €10m (U.S.$11m)Scottish project which will see them receive €1.5m(U.S.$1.64m) in EU funding for the development of a floating tidal energy device.
Commenting, Declan Meally, Head of Emerging Sectors, SEAI, said: “The objective at this major international event is to show that Ireland is open for business and is actively committed to harnessing its abundant wave, tidal and offshore wind energy resources in an environmentally sustainable manner. The government through its departments and agencies (led by DCENR) is dedicated to developing an indigenous ocean energy industry, which is a real opportunity that will deliver future economic and societal benefits for the citizens of Ireland. To that end, collaboration, both nationally and internationally, is key. To facilitate the development of the sector we’re very keen to explore all collaborative opportunities, where Ireland can offer its strengths in areas like test facilities, technology supports, supply chain availability and grid infrastructure.”
Continuing, Meally said: “With a sea area ten times our land mass, this market has the potential to be worth €15 (U.S. $16.4)billion to Ireland’s economy by 2050. Irish companies are making innovative technology developments and SEAI since 2009 has made grant offers of almost €12m to 68 technology projects.”