The EU’s Foresea programme has approved funding for six developers of offshore renewable energy technologies to deploy their devices at the SmartBay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site in Ireland.
The announcement presages a new phase in ocean energy development in Ireland, with several new technologies planning to hit the water in the coming 2 years.
Foresea is an €11m project which helps to bring offshore renewable energy technologies to market by providing free access to a network of test centres. Its user selection board awarded a ‘Recommendation for Support” to demonstration projects led by the following technology developers – Sea Power, Bluwind Power, Marine Power Systems, Blue Ocean Monitoring, UGen and Calwave. A final award of support is secured by the developer upon contract with the test centre.
The announcement follows the granting of a foreshore licence to the SmartBay Test Site in December 2017 by Irish minister of state at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Damien English.
John Breslin, general manager of SmartBay Ireland welcomed the awards:
“With world-leading expertise and test facilities, and an unparalleled wave resource, marine renewables have huge potential for energy generation and job creation in Ireland. Today’s announcement is an important milestone on the pathway to realising that potential. We’re looking forward to working with developers to validate their technologies in real-sea conditions and put them on the road to market.”
Gareth Stockman, CEO of Marine Power Systems commented: "With an estimated 100 GW of ocean energy capacity deployable in Europe alone, the potential economic and environmental benefits to be gained from our oceans are significant.:
The fourth and final Foresea call for applications opened on 11 October 2017, and aims to help technology developers from other offshore sectors transition into the renewable energy market. The call runs until 29 June 2018.