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Displaying items by tag: sustainable energy

#POWER FROM THE SEA - An Irish firm has landed a contract to provide a wave device for a new offshore energy test site in Cornwall, Siliconrepublic reports.

Ocean Energy, which is based in Cork, will deploy its first full-scale wave energy device at Wave Hub - described as an 'electrical socket' for testing wave power technology - off Hayle in north Cornwall by the end of the year.

The technology behind the buoy-type device, which will cost €9 million, has been developed over the past three years via a quarter-scale prototype in Galway Bay.

Using the principle of the oscillating water column, the device works by channeling water through a submerged chamber that forces air through a turbine above the surface.

The full-scale unit is expected to generate enough electricity to power as many as 1,200 homes.

Siliconrepublic has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

#POWER FROM THE SEA - A €9 million Europe-wide wave energy trial programme is one of the key elements of a new Government programme designed to transform Ireland as a maritime nation.

According to The Irish Times, University College Cork's Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre will run testing of wave energy, tidal energy and offshore wind energy devices across a network of sites in 12 European countries participating in the new marine renewables infrastructure network Marinet.

Irish test sites in the network include the national ocean test facility in Cork and centres operated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) at Galway Bay and Belmullet.

The UCC centre also forms part of the new Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster (IMERC), launched last Friday by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

The cluster comprises UCC, the Irish Naval Service, Cork Institute of Technology and the National Maritime College of Ireland with the initial aim of creating 70 new research jobs by 2014 in the areas of wave energy, green shipping and sustainability of ocean resources.

IMERC director Dr Val Cummins said: “The aim of IMERC is to promote Ireland as a world-renowned research and development location that will unlock Ireland’s maritime and energy potential."

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea
#POWER FROM THE SEA - The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is teaming with IBM in a new project to assess the noise levels of wave energy devices off the Irish coast.
The scheme will see an array of noise sensing equipment such as hydrophones deployed in Galway Bay to monitor the noise levels of wave energy conversion devices in real time, as well as map patterns of marine life in the area.
According to AOL Energy, noise pollution at sea is a chief concern, having a disturbing effect on fish migrations among other marine ecosystems.
The west of Ireland will prove an important case study in this regard, as it hosts one of the world's largest wave energy infrastructures.
"Underwater noise is a global environmental issue that has to be addressed if we are going to take advantage of the huge potential of ocean energy," said EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.
AOL Energy has more on the story HERE.

#POWER FROM THE SEA - The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is teaming with IBM in a new project to assess the noise levels of wave energy devices off the Irish coast.

The scheme will see an array of noise sensing equipment such as hydrophones deployed in Galway Bay to monitor the noise levels of wave energy conversion devices in real time, as well as map patterns of marine life in the area.

According to AOL Energy, noise pollution at sea is a chief concern, having a disturbing effect on fish migrations among other marine ecosystems.

The west of Ireland will prove an important case study in this regard, as it hosts one of the world's largest wave energy infrastructures.

"Underwater noise is a global environmental issue that has to be addressed if we are going to take advantage of the huge potential of ocean energy," said EU Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

AOL Energy has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea
New Scientist has highlighted some of the latest technologies being developed to harness power from the sea.
Companies such as Pelamis Wave Power and Aquamarine Power are already testing prototypes of their so-called wave energy 'harvesters' - enormous machines that can capture the massive potential energy stored within ocean waves.
Pelamis' huge P2 is filled with state-of-the-art computers that allow programmers to control and update its operations on the fly, quickly taking advantage of changes in sea conditions to maximise energy production and increase efficiency.
The proof is in the pudding, as P2 can produce 750 kilowatts of power - twice as much as earlier prototypes.
Aquamarine's Oyster 800, meanwhile, can generate an incredible 800 kilowatts by way of a giant hinged flap that juts out of the water. Each passing wave closes the flap shut like a clamshell, with the resultant hydraulic pressure driving an onshore turbine.
"If you can get that sort of level of performance improvement then the economics suddenly start to look a lot more favourable," says The Carbon Trust's Stephen Wyatt.
New Scientist has more on the story HERE.

New Scientist has highlighted some of the latest technologies being developed to harness power from the sea.

Companies such as Pelamis Wave Power and Aquamarine Power are already testing prototypes of their so-called wave energy 'harvesters' - enormous machines that can capture the massive potential energy stored within ocean waves.

Pelamis' huge P2 is filled with state-of-the-art computers that allow programmers to control and update its operations on the fly, quickly taking advantage of changes in sea conditions to maximise energy production and increase efficiency.

The proof is in the pudding, as P2 can produce 750 kilowatts of power - twice as much as earlier prototypes.

Aquamarine's Oyster 800, meanwhile, can generate an incredible 800 kilowatts by way of a giant hinged flap that juts out of the water. Each passing wave closes the flap shut like a clamshell, with the resultant hydraulic pressure driving an onshore turbine.

"If you can get that sort of level of performance improvement then the economics suddenly start to look a lot more favourable," says The Carbon Trust's Stephen Wyatt.

New Scientist has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea
Ireland must do more to develop its port and shipping services or risk missing out on the benefits of the growning renewable energy sector.
That was the message from a new analysis compiled by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the Irish Maritime Development Office, as reported by Renewable Energy Magazine.
The current lack of supply services and equipment for renewables in Irish ports could threaten the country's promise in the fields of offshore wind, tidal and wave energy, the report states.
It is estimated that the total value of such renewable energy sectors could be as much as €16 billion.
The east coast has been identified as the best location for offshore wind and tidal projects, while the south and west coasts were best for wave power and wind farms.
“We now need to look at the investment in infrastructure required if we are to properly capitalise on the current opportunities in this area," said the report.
Renewable Energy Magazine has more on the story HERE.

Ireland must do more to develop its port and shipping services or risk missing out on the benefits of the growning renewable energy sector.

That was the message from a new analysis compiled by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and the Irish Maritime Development Office, as reported by Renewable Energy Magazine.

The current lack of supply services and equipment for renewables in Irish ports could threaten the country's promise in the fields of offshore wind, tidal and wave energy, the report states.

It is estimated that the total value of such renewable energy sectors could be as much as €16 billion. 

The east coast has been identified as the best location for offshore wind and tidal projects, while the south and west coasts were best for wave power and wind farms.

“We now need to look at the investment in infrastructure required if we are to properly capitalise on the current opportunities in this area," said the report.

Renewable Energy Magazine has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea
Plans are afoot to power Edinburgh with a giant offshore windfarm, the Edinburgh Evening News reports.
The £1.2 billion (€ billion) project proposed by Irish group Mainstream Renewable Power could see as many as 130 turbines generate power for up to 335,000 homes.
The turbines would be installed 30km north of Dunbar, East Lothian, though a number would be visible from the coastline.
Concerns have been raised by East Lothian residents at a consultation hearing regarding the environmental impact of the project, dubbed Neart na Gaoithe (might of the wind), though wildlife and environmental surveys are still being carried out.
Any final go-ahead on the windfarm scheme would have to be given by the Scottish government.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Mainstream Renewable Power - headed by Eddie O'Connor - has signed deals for windfarms in South Africa and Alberta province in Canada.
The Evening News has more on the story HERE.

Plans are afoot to power Edinburgh with a giant offshore windfarm, the Edinburgh Evening News reports.

The £1.2 billion (€ 1.37 billion) project proposed by Irish group Mainstream Renewable Power could see as many as 130 turbines generate power for up to 335,000 homes.

The turbines would be installed 30km north of Dunbar, East Lothian, though a number would be visible from the coastline.

Concerns have been raised by East Lothian residents at a consultation hearing regarding the environmental impact of the project, dubbed Neart na Gaoithe (might of the wind), though wildlife and environmental surveys are still being carried out.

Any final go-ahead on the windfarm scheme would have to be given by the Scottish government.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Mainstream Renewable Power - headed by Eddie O'Connor - has signed deals for windfarms in South Africa and Alberta province in Canada.

The Evening News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea
The latest product from sonar technology company Tritech is a mammal detection system for use around underwater turbines.
According to the manufacturers, the Gemini SeaTec system uses a multi-beam sonar and image detection software to provide real-time monitoring and warning of sea mammals in the vicinity of subsea turbines, allowing operators to take corrective action.
The system also logs valuable data that may be used for environmental assessment in any sea turbine development project.
Tritech's system is already installed on the SeaGen tidal turbine in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. The system also has future possible applications in cable lay survey operations and general subsea monitoring.
For more details visit the Tritech website.

The latest product from sonar technology company Tritech is a mammal detection system for use around underwater turbines.

According to the manufacturers, the Gemini SeaTec system uses a multi-beam sonar and image detection software to provide real-time monitoring and warning of sea mammals in the vicinity of subsea turbines, allowing operators to take corrective action.

The system also logs valuable data that may be used for environmental assessment in any sea turbine development project.

Tritech's system is already installed on the SeaGen tidal turbine in Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland. The system also has future possible applications in cable lay survey operations and general subsea monitoring.

For more details visit the Tritech website.

Published in Power From the Sea
A foreshore lease application has been lodged for a series of offshore windfarms in Dublin Bay.
The Dublin Array, to be situated on the Bray and Kish Banks some 10km from the coast, would consist of 145 turbines, each 160m high, operated by Saorgus Energy Ltd.
The project has been criticised by the Coastal Concern Alliance due to its approval in contravention of an EU directive that requires a strategic environmental assessment.
Further details are available at www.saorgus.com and www.coastalconcern.ie.

A foreshore lease application has been lodged for a series of offshore wind farms in Dublin Bay.

The Dublin Array, to be situated on the Bray and Kish Banks some 10km from the coast, would consist of 145 turbines, each 160m high, operated by Saorgus Energy Ltd.

The project has been criticised by the Coastal Concern Alliance due to its approval in contravention of an EU directive that requires a strategic environmental assessment.

Further details are available at www.saorgus.com and www.coastalconcern.ie.

Published in Dublin Bay
An 'underwater kite' developed by a Swedish company could be a simple answer to harnessing the power of the sea, The Local reports.
The Deep Green device looks like a toy kite with a turbine attached. But when tethered to the seabed and carried by the ocean currents, it can harness energy at a much more efficient rate - 800 times greater - than surface-based turbines.
Minesto, the company behind the project, claims it can generate 500 kilowatts of power even in calm conditions.
A scale model of the Deep Green system, which was included in Time Magazine's 50 Best Inventions of 2010, will be unveiled later this year off the coast of Northern Ireland.
It will provide an opportunity for testing in real ocean conditions, as well as evaluating the potential impact on marine life below the surface.
“We are confident once successful trials have been carried out for it to be commercially operative by 2013,” said Minesto CEO Anders Jansson.
The Local has more on the story HERE.

An 'underwater kite' developed by a Swedish company could be a simple answer to harnessing the power of the sea, The Local reports.

The Deep Green device looks like a toy kite with a turbine attached. But when tethered to the seabed and carried by the ocean currents, it can harness energy at a much more efficient rate - 800 times greater - than surface-based turbines.

Minesto, the company behind the project, claims it can generate 500 kilowatts of power even in calm conditions.
A scale model of the Deep Green system, which was included in Time Magazine's 50 Best Inventions of 2010, will be unveiled later this year off the coast of Northern Ireland. 

It will provide an opportunity for testing in real ocean conditions, as well as evaluating the potential impact on marine life below the surface.

“We are confident once successful trials have been carried out for it to be commercially operative by 2013,” said Minesto CEO Anders Jansson.

Sweden's The Local has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea
The winners of the 2011 Port of Cork Schools Initiative have been announced.
St John the Baptist National School in Midleton took the prize for best project in this year's contest, with the theme of ‘Making Cork Harbour a Green Energy Hub for our Future’.
Fifth classes from more than 60 primary schools in the Cork area got creative for the project, some even producing whole scale models of Cork Harbour.
Chairman of the Port of Cork, Dermot O’Mahoney, said: "We are delighted with the efforts put in by the participating schools. This is a great way of educating school children on the different forms of energy within Cork harbour while also highlighting the role of the Port of Cork."
Every participating class will be invited for a visit to Customs House in Cork city with a boat trip around the harbour before the end of the summer term. As top prize winners, pupils from St John the Baptist will get to visit one of the many luxury cruise liners that call at the port.
All projects are currently on display in the reception of Customs House.

The winners of the 2011 Port of Cork Schools Initiative have been announced.

St John the Baptist National School in Midleton took the prize for best project in this year's contest, with the theme of ‘Making Cork Harbour a Green Energy Hub for our Future’.

Fifth classes from more than 60 primary schools in the Cork area got creative for the project, some even producing whole scale models of Cork Harbour.

Chairman of the Port of Cork, Dermot O’Mahoney, said: "We are delighted with the efforts put in by the participating schools. This is a great way of educating school children on the different forms of energy within Cork harbour while also highlighting the role of the Port of Cork."

Every participating class will be invited for a visit to Customs House in Cork city with a boat trip around the harbour before the end of the summer term. As top prize winners, pupils from St John the Baptist will get to visit one of the many luxury cruise liners that call at the port.

All projects are currently on display in the reception of Customs House.

Published in Cork Harbour
Page 1 of 2

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

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