Dr. Peter Heffernan, Marine Institute CEO signed a Memorandum of Understanding on offshore renewable energy research cooperation with the United States Department of Energy last week. It was signed on behalf of Energy Minister, Pat Rabbitte, during the Taoiseach’s visit to the US. Dr Henry Kelly, Assistant Secretary in the Department of Energy signed on behalf of the US.
Ireland has a sea area over 10 times the size of its land area and one of the best wind and wave resources in Europe. According to Dr. Heffernan, “The potential of Ireland’s oceans to offer a source of clean, green, renewable energy in the future is huge. The signing of this memorandum will hopefully serve as a catalyst in the development of new ocean energy technologies that will provide us with a secure source of green energy and also create commercial opportunities for services in this emerging sector.”
Ireland’s reputation as an emerging centre of excellence in marine science has been validated by the announcement September 14th of over €23 million in European funding for some 30 Irish marine research groups, including around 20 SMEs engaged in cutting edge work in such vital areas as ocean energy, sustainable fisheries, biotechnology, and marine environmental monitoring.
This funding from the European Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) will support an estimated 130 young researchers.