Irish collaboration bags ESA contract in marine energy

22 Jul 2021

Image: © willyam/

Irish companies Mindseed and OceanEnergy secured an ESA contract to investigate the use of space technology in renewable ocean energy.

Two Irish companies have partnered to assess the potential of satellite-based services for use in the renewable marine energy industry.

Mindseed, a Dublin-based ICT consultancy that specialises in space-related technologies, teamed up with wave technology specialist OceanEnergy to win a contract under the European Space Agency (ESA) Marine Energy tender.

The consortium was chosen by the ESA in collaboration with the Dutch Marine Energy Centre.

The global market for marine energy is estimated to be worth more than €100bn by 2050, as demand rises for renewable energy sources to reduce carbon emissions and address the climate crisis.

According to the ESA tender, it is estimated that 100GW of wave and tidal energy capacity could be deployed in Europe by 2050, meeting 10pc of Europe’s current electricity needs. This could power the daily electricity demands of 76m households.

“With over 50pc of all marine energy companies based in Europe, and as much as 10pc located here in Ireland, we are very well positioned to establish Ireland and Europe as global industry leaders in the marine energy sector, and seize export opportunities in the global market,” said Dr Patricia Moore, CTO at Mindseed.

“Key to differentiating ourselves in the market is the successful adoption of the latest in internet of things and artificial intelligence technologies and the incorporation of space-based technologies that deliver earth observation, satellite communications, and satellite navigation capabilities.”

Prof Tony Lewis, CTO at Cork-based OceanEnergy, added that his team has extensive experience in the difficult issue of deploying and maintaining technology in the ocean environment.

“We believe that emerging technologies, and underutilised existing capabilities, particularly space-based capabilities, can be used to radically transform the sector,” he said.

“We are excited to partner with Mindseed in exploring what we believe to be vast and largely untapped potential.”

Tony McDonald, an ESA national delegate at Enterprise Ireland, said: “This activity is yet another example of Irish companies developing innovative satellite-based solutions with the support of the European Space Agency.

“The ocean energy market in particular has the potential to benefit from the advanced satellite systems being developed by ESA, which is supported with investment from the Irish Government.”

Another Irish company, Dublin Offshore Consultants Ltd, also received a contract under the same tender.

Sam Cox was a journalist at Silicon Republic covering sci-tech news