The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has granted €1.8m in funding for feasibility studies for five wave energy projects off the Clare coast.
As part of the ESB’s project, the goal will be to deploy five wave energy devices off the coast of County Clare by 2018.
The SEAI has been working with ESB for the past three years on the ESB Westwave project which represents one of the most significant efforts worldwide to establish a pre-commercial array of wave energy converters.
The full environmental impact assessment for the site is expected to be carried out in 2014 and 2015 and will be necessary to advance the project and eventually connect power generated from the wave energy converters to the existing electricity network.
According to the SEAI’s CEO, Dr Brian Motherway, this will be a necessary step to move Ireland away from our dependence on fossil fuels sourced abroad: “Ocean energy is a great opportunity for Ireland, not only to exploit a tremendous source of clean energy but also to develop a sizeable enterprise sector.
“We already have world leading technology expertise and some excellent test facilities in Ireland. ESB Westwave will bring ocean energy in Ireland to another level by enabling us to bring renewable electricity ashore from the waves off County Clare.”
According to the SEAI, one-fifth of Ireland’s energy now comes from renewable sources and as a nation have reduced our CO2 emissions by over three million tonnes.