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Displaying items by tag: tidal energy

#SeaPower - Northern Ireland is well placed to capitalise on the growing trend towards renewable energy thanks to its unique tidal resources, according to a leading researcher in the field.

Dr Carwyn Frost of Queen’s University Belfast tells Emily McDaid of local tech incubator Catalyst Inc that the Narrows between Strangford Lough and the Irish Sea have the perfect conditions to harness the power of the sea’s tides — in shallow waters away from ocean swell, and more accessible than similar sites in the far north of Scotland.

The area was previously home to the world’s first tidal power station in the form of the SeaGen turbine, and has since been a test site for new projects such as the PowerKite developing the next generation of tidal energy devices.

Silicon Republic has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

#SeaPower - A prototype tidal energy turbine project in the Shannon Estuary has received almost €100,000 in funding for further development, as the Limerick Post reports.

GKinetic has been testing a scale prototype of its new hydrokinetic turbine for the last year, at a purpose-built facility in Limerick Docks set up in tandem with the Shannon Foynes Port Company.

The new funding of €99,562 from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) Prototype Development Fund will support testing on an improved prototype from August for a six-week period, as the company ramps up plans to scale up the design to a 250kW tidal device.

GKinetic’s technology is already being commercialised by fellow Co Limerick company DesignPro, who secured funding earlier this year under the Horizon 2020 project to test its own river energy devices at scale.

The Limerick Post has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

OpenHydro, the Irish based tidal energy company and part of DCNS Energies, has appointed Mr Patrick Gougeon as their new Chief Executive Officer. The appointment signals the company’s ongoing drive towards commercialisation of its tidal technology and follows the launch of DCNS Energies, a subsidiary of the DCNS Group which recently secured €100m in investment.

Mr Gougeon joined OpenHydro at the start of January 2017, having previously held the position of CEO of Colibrys, a high-technology industrial company based in Switzerland. He is an engineer from the French Ecole Centrale de Lille and holds an MBA from the HEC School of Management in Paris.

With over twenty years’ experience in delivering global technological projects and transforming organizations in the industrial sector, Mr Gougeon’s senior management career to date has encompassed roles including consultancy in strategy and organisation in McKinsey & Company, as well as change management, international business development, industrial and program management as a successful executive in the Thales and Safran groups.

Thierry Kalaquin, Senior Vice President of Energies at DCNS, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Patrick to this role, following a successful year in 2016, which saw us deliver significant tidal technology development. We now look forward to moving towards a fully commercial tidal energy solution and servicing our global portfolio of projects.”

Operating out of OpenHydro’s Dublin offices and its Technical Centre in Greenore, Co. Louth, Mr Gougeon heads up a business that has strong plans to expand both locally and internationally.
Commenting on his appointment, Patrick Gougeon said: “I am really looking forward to taking up the challenge to lead OpenHydro’ s team during this exciting phase of its’ evolution. My immediate focus is to ensure that we are well placed for the next stage of growth and opportunities that lie ahead, with the right people, organization, technology and partners in place.”

Published in Power From the Sea
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James Ives, CEO at tidal energy company OpenHydro will speaking tomorrow at the Ocean Energy Europe Conference being held this week in Croke Park in Dublin. Ives will tell how the Irish marine renewable firm is to be the global leader in tidal solutions, profitably delivering economic marine renewable energy.

The Department of Communications says that €4.5m. will be allocated to ocean energy research in Ireland under Budget provisions next year. Total allocation for energy efficiency and renewable energy onshore and offshore next year is €68m. €9 million is being provided for geoscience initiatives including the INFOMAR and TELLUS programmes, which will support expanded geoscience research in Ireland’s offshore and onshore.

OpenHydro, a DCNS company, based in Ireland, is a technology business that designs and manufactures marine turbines to generate renewable energy from tidal streams. The company's vision is to deploy farms of tidal turbines under the world's oceans - silently and invisibly generating electricity at no cost to the environment. OpenHydro's technology enables the ocean's immense energy to be harnessed for the benefit of all. The electricity produced is completely renewable since it relies on tides that are created by the gravitational effect of the sun and moon. Through this innovative technology, OpenHydro will extract energy from the oceans in an economically viable and environmentally sensitive manner.

OpenHydro has developed the innovative Open-Centre Turbine technology which is a shrouded, horizontal-axis turbine. Simplicity is the key advantage of this technology: manufactured from a small number of components and with only one single moving part (the rotor). There is no need for oils, seals or a gearbox and this not only reduces the requirement for maintenance but ensures reliable performance in the harsh environment that is the World’s oceans. The turbines, each supported on a subsea structure, are placed directly onto the seabed, deep enough so as not to pose a hazard to shipping traffic overhead and the standard OpenHydro product has a diameter of 16m and is rated at 2MW. OpenHydro has also developed a patented method to install the Open-Centre Turbines, allowing all deployments to be completed in a single tidal cycle; less than 6 hours.

OpenHydro is at the fore-front of the tidal industry, with nearly one gigawatt of development in progress across multiple sites in Europe and North America. 

Published in Power From the Sea
Tagged under

#SeaPower - What's been described as the world's largest planned tidal energy scheme has been given the green light by its financiers, with construction set to begin off the northern Scottish coast in the new year, as The Guardian reports.

Previously detailed last month on Afloat.ie, the MeyGen project – comprising 269 turbines on the seabed off Caithness in the far north of mainland Scotland – will see onshore construction get under way next month after developers Atlantis Resources satisfied the conditions to draw down funds from The Crown Estate of Scottish Enterprise.

MeyGen aims to harness the strong currents at the Ness of Quoys in Pentland Firth to generate energy at levels "on a part with wind turbines" but hidden from view beneath the waves - with the first power from the sea to be delivered to Britain's national grid by 2016.

Published in Power From the Sea

#PowerFromTheSea - The next big renewable energy turbine farm could be underwater off the coast of Scotland, as MailOnline reports.

Scottish firm MayGen has big plans to install a £51 million (€65.2 million) underwater turbine project to harness the powerful currents of their country's coastal waters.

This new project, earmarked for Pentland Firth at Caithness in the far north of mainland Scotland, follows separate plans to install the world's largest tidal power facility in the Sound of Islay.

MayGen - which has just won an award for its parent company Atlantis Resources for its "significant contribution" to the marine renewables industry – says its state-of-the-art technology is "on a par with wind turbines" in terms of productivity, but would be hidden from the view of those who find the larger land-based wind farms unsightly.

The Pentland Firth project will be the new design's proving ground, with hopes that it will generate power for nearly half a million homes upon completion in 2020.

MailOnline has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

#POWER FROM THE SEA - Marine-based renewable energy projects could be introduced without a damaging impact on marine wildlife, according to a new briefing paper from Friends of the Earth.

Business Green reports on the paper from the environmental campaign group, written by marine ecologist Martin Attrill of Plymouth University's Marine Institute, which draws together research on the biodiversity impact of offshore wave energy, tidal energy and wind power schemes.

Attrill found that the deployment of sea energy arrays could ultimately benefit many marine species by reducing the effects of fishing activity, and even acting as reefs to attract new sea life.

He cites the example of a grey seal colony in Strangford Lough that has steered clear of a nearby tidal turbine over the three years of its operation in the lough.

However, Business Green says the report makes clear that the deployment of such projects "must be done sensitively", noting that any negative impact on biodiversity "would be significantly lower than the damage done to marine wildlife by rising sea levels caused by climate change".

Business Green 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
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
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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.

©Afloat 2020

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