€4.3m investment in ocean energy research by 10 tech firms

5 Oct 2009

Some €4.3m has been invested in 10 companies by Sustainable Energy Ireland into the development and deployment of ocean energy devices that can generate renewable electricity.

The funding will enable the companies to take their proposals and prototypes to the next stage of development.

Participating companies include Wavebob Ltd and Ocean Energy, who have been trialling their prototype wave energy converters in Galway Bay, and OpenHydro, who are developing a tidal turbine system.

Other companies receiving assistance in conducting research and feasibility studies include Technology from Ideas Ltd, based in Waterford and the Marine Renewables Industry Association.  Individual company grants range from €20,000 to €2 million.

“The Atlantic Ocean provides an untapped source of renewable energy and gives Ireland a unique advantage in the development of ocean energy technology,” explained Prof Owen Lewis, chief executive, SEI.

“It is essential that we invest in companies that are seeking to make this technology a reality and help make Ireland a centre for excellence in ocean technology.

“The Government has set a target of having 500MW of ocean energy connected to the national grid by 2020.  SEI’s Ocean Energy Development Unit is working closely with development companies to test their technologies and make them not only operationally but also commercially viable.

“Today’s commitment takes us a step closer to achieving this aim and developing Ireland as a global leader in this field,” Lewis said.

Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) is the statutory authority charged with promoting and assisting the development of sustainable energy. SEI is funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan, with programmes part-financed by the European Union.

The companies and the projects being funded are as follows:

Company Project
Key Engineering Services Ltd Industry-led feasibility study of wave energy device
Cyan Technologies Ltd Concept Testing of the CyanWave Novel Wave Energy Converter
Technology from Ideas Ltd TFI Wave Protector
Waveberg Ireland Extended Tank Testing of the Waveberg  1:32 scale model
Ocean Energy Ltd OE Buoy Research Project, Phase 3b, Finalisation of Research and Testing of Current Prototype (Quarter Scale)
OpenHydro Group Ltd Design & Development of 16m Open-Centre Turbine System
Martin Houston and Sons Ltd Houston Wave Energy Converter Proof of Concept Study
Wavebob Ltd Wavebob ADM3 and ADM4 staged and combined wave-to-wire wave energy conversion demonstrated with linear generation power take-off (PTO)
Sea Power Ltd Development of C pump
Marine Renewables Industry Association Ltd Provision of a policy framework for Marine Renewables/ Ocean Energy (Wave and Tide)
Jospa Ltd Phase 1 – Validation Model and Concept Testing


By John Kennedy

Photo: Sustainable Energy Ireland has invested €4.3m in 10 companies for the development and deployment of ocean energy devices that can generate renewable electricity.