An Irish wave energy project developed at Maynooth University called INNOWAVE has been awarded €800,000 in EU Horizon 2020 funding to develop commercial wave energy technology.
With this new funding, the InnoWave team led by Prof John Ringwood of the university’s Centre for Ocean Energy Research will team up with a commercial wave energy group in Scotland called Aquamarine Power.
The Irish team has been awarded the €800,000 to help improve the performance of Aquamarine Power’s Oyster wave energy converter.
With this in mind, the Maynooth University researchers will develop the automated computer systems that will look to maximise the power capture of the Oyster device.
The technology is rapidly developing, particularly in Ireland, with the agency responsible for developing Ireland’s ocean energy potential expecting it to produce as much as 50GW of energy and create 70,000 jobs by the year 2050.
By developing the Oyster’s system, the InnoWave team will hope to improve upon its operational lifespan of 20 years.
Three newly-recruited early-stage researchers will divide their time over the three-year project between Maynooth and the Aquamarine Power premises in Edinburgh and Belfast, with site visits to the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, where Aquamarine Power has been testing its Oyster device for the past four years.
Commenting on the project, Ringwood said: “This is a very exciting project which has the potential to greatly advance the field of wave energy and progress its development as a commercially viable energy source. It’s a great example of academia and industry collaborating to progress research which can have a monumental impact on energy provision for future generations.”
He continued: “Marine energy has enormous potential as an environmentally friendly and cost-effective source of power. We look forward to working with our partners in Scotland to make a significant contribution to the evolution of wave energy research.”
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