The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten T.D., has today announced a 12 week public consultation on two draft Guidance documents to help support the development of offshore renewable energy in Ireland.
Minister Naughten said “Ireland has some of the best offshore and ocean energy resources in Europe. The Government is committed to the sustainable development of these renewable resources, which in time will help to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, improve our security of energy supply and support local employment.”
The draft documents aim to provide Guidance on the preparation of Environment Impact Statements (EIS) and Natura Impact Statements (NIS) for offshore renewable energy projects and Guidance on Marine Baseline Assessments and Monitoring Activities to evaluate potential environmental impacts of renewable energy projects in the marine area.
The documents build on a workshop held with key stakeholders in 2015. This consultation now provides the opportunity for further participation by stakeholders and the public and it is hoped that it will help ensure that the Guidance documents are as comprehensive and relevant as possible to developers and practitioners in the offshore renewable energy field.
The purpose of the draft Guidance document on the preparation of EIS and NIS is to assist developers in preparing the relevant statements that may be required for development projects and also to provide competent authorities, consultation bodies and the public with a basis for determining the adequacy of these statements.
The purpose of the draft Guidance document on Marine Baseline Assessments and Monitoring Activities is to provide technical guidance on the data requirements and monitoring necessary to evaluate potential environmental impacts of renewable energy projects in the marine area, provide specific recommendations and an overview of best practice in this regard.
Minister Naughten added “The preparation of these draft Guidance documents is one of a number of projects being progressed under the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan, and it is hoped that they will be of interest not just to the offshore renewable energy industry but will be of wider interest also. I look forward to feedback from all relevant stakeholders.”
Further details on the consultation and the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan can be found on the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment website at: http://www.dccae.gov.ie/energy/en-ie/Pages/Consultation/Public-Consultation-on-draft-Guidance-Documents-for-Offshore-Renewable-Energy-Development.aspx
The public consultation will close at 5pm on Friday 16 December, 2016. Submissions can be sent electronically to the following mailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the Marine Institute (MI) have launched a new supply chain database for Ireland’s marine energy industry under the Ocean Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP). The database has expanded upon previously existing information from the SEAI website to include a wider variety of businesses and organisations available throughout the country in a larger supply chain for the emerging marine renewable energy industry. The aim of the database is to encourage Irish and international collaboration, promote indigenous enterprise, and communicate the message that “Ireland is Open for Business”. Work will be ongoing to continually update and improve the supply chain database.
If you wish for your company to be added the Marine Energy Supply Chain Database, please email your details to email@example.com
Click here to view the database.Read More...
A public consultation is underway on the Marine Institute’s application for a foreshore lease to upgrade the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site. The Marine Institute has applied to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government for a foreshore lease for the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test site where prototype marine renewable energy technology can be tested at reduced scale to determine viability in an ocean environment.Read More...
SmartBay Ireland Ltd. has recently achieved international accreditation under OHSAS 18001:2007 Occupational Health and Safety, ISO 14001:2004 Environment and ISO 9001:2008 Quality standards.
These awards recognise SmartBay’s commitment to operating an integrated Health, Safety, Environment and Quality management system for its employees, partners, subcontractors and all users of the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site. The audit was conducted by SGS Ireland Ltd. one of the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification organisations.
John Breslin General Manager, SmartBay Ireland said: “The safety management system we have developed will help us ensure the safety of all persons who work at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy test site and will ensure that we continually strive to minimise the impacts of our activities on the environment and improve the quality of our operations”.
Declan Meally Head of Emerging Sectors in the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) stated that ‘SEAI are delighted that SmartBay Ireland have secured this award for the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy test site and wish to congratulate the staff who worked so hard to achieve it. Certification under all three standards ensures that the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site will be operated in accordance with international best practice for health, safety, quality and environmental management.’
Peter Heffernan Marine Institute CEO congratulated SmartBay on this achievement commenting that “The international accreditation of the health, safety, environmental and quality management system developed by SmartBay for the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site reinforces the commitment by Ireland to provide a world class test and demonstration facility to the marine technology and renewable energy sectors”
The bespoke integrated management system was developed in-house over a period of 12 months by key SmartBay personnel and Myton Systems Ltd with support from the Marine Institute and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland. Recognised worldwide, certification to OHSAS 18001, ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 demonstrates SmartBay, the Marine Institute and the Sustainable Energy Authorities commitment to deliver the highest standards of service and facilities at the facility.
The HSEQ Management System incorporates the principles of each standard and its application to the unique requirements associated with the management and operation of the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site.
The system will undergo rigorous annual internal and external audits to continually refine and improve systems of work, measure performance and assess the impacts of activities at the test site. SmartBay and the Marine Institute will continue to implement best practices and procedures to achieve overall service excellence for the users of the test site, now and into the future, by adhering to the standards and consistently meeting and exceeding annual targets and indicators.
As part of the implementation of the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan, the Environmental Working Group was set up to ensure the sustainable development of Ireland’s offshore renewable energy resource. The group is establishing the requirements for environmental data collection and the monitoring of potential environmental impacts arising from the development of offshore renewable energy installations.
The Environmental Working Group recently collated an inventory of relevant data currently available in Ireland. The objective of this inventory is to identify sources and availability of environmental, social and economic data relevant to all offshore renewable energy developments from testing, site investigations, construction, production and decommissioning. This is a valuable source of information for the planning and permitting of offshore renewable energy developments in Irish waters. This inventory points to all sources of relevant data which is currently collected and available. A link to the inventory can be found here: www.oceanenergyireland.com/Content/Documents/EnvData.xlsx
While this is an extensive list, it is noted that it may not be comprehensive and additional data may need to be collected as part of project preparation. Additional data requirements will need to be reviewed on a case by case basis.
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the Marine Institute (MI) will monitor the inventory to ensure data lists and links are kept up to date. Any additional links to suggested relevant data are welcome and should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. While SEAI and MI have made every effort to ensure the relevance of the datasets, neither organisation is responsible for the quality of data
Global leaders in the field of marine renewable energy convened in Cork on the 29th February to attend a 2-day symposium in honour of the ‘father of ocean energy’, Professor Tony Lewis. The Lewis Symposium, hosted by the MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, was held in recognition of the significant contributions made by Professor Tony Lewis to the field of Ocean Energy. RTE’s maritime radio programme “Seascapes” covered the event in two episodes. Please see links below to listen:
“The Lewis Symposium is a celebration of a man who has dedicated his entire career to marine renewable energy. Professor Lewis has been one of the most active members of the Ocean Energy community for the past 4 decades. Through his teaching, research, industrial and ambassadorial roles he has become a great influencer in the Marine Renewable Energy (MRE) sector – which is why so many of his contemporaries have travelled to Cork for this event honouring him,” said Prof Jerry Murphy, Director MaREI.
“His legacy includes the MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy, which has over 130 researchers across 6 institutions working with 45 industry partners, and the Lir National Ocean Test Facility located in the new world-class Beaufort Building,” he added. “Tony saw the potential of our marine resource before many others and was instrumental in developing the MRE sector here.”
Speaking at The Lewis Symposium, Professor Tony Lewis, added: “Over the course of my career I have been privileged to have worked with people from all over the world researching and making real progress in the marine renewable energy sector. I am honoured that so many of them have travelled to Cork to celebrate what we have achieved so far,”
“With a sea to land ratio of over 10:1, Ireland is one of the best locations in terms of marine renewable energy resources, but it is only in the last 10 years that we have started to get serious about the potential of marine renewable energy. I am honoured to have played a part in that and I look forward to the continued collaboration with my colleagues in Ireland and across the world,” he added.
As a result of his achievements Professor Lewis has recently been awarded Professor Emeritus status in University College Cork.
Speakers and attendees were treated to a tour of the world-class UCC Beaufort Building which houses the MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy and the LIR National Ocean Test Facility. The building was officially opened in July 2015, representing an investment of €15.2 million from the Irish State and private investment. The Building covers some 4,700m2 on five floors and has provision for 135 researchers and support staff in offices and across a suite of state-of-the-art test tanks and dedicated workshops.
The Beaufort Building, located adjacent to the National Maritime College of Ireland, is a major extension of UCC’s Environmental Research Institute (ERI). MaREI and the Lir National Ocean Test Facility are part of the IMERC Cluster, a strategic initiative by UCC, Cork Institute of Technology and the Irish Naval Service which has been successful in promoting Ireland as the place to invest in the maritime and energy sectors.
Ireland was well represented at last week’s 6th International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE), which took place in Edinburgh from 23rd-25th February. There were over 20 Irish companies and 30 delegates represented on the ‘Ireland Open for Business’ stand. The event, which brings together interested parties from the global ocean energy industry every two years, attracted over 900 delegates, 70 exhibitors, 100 international speakers, and a variety of investors, developers, and government agents from all over the world.
The Sustainable Energy Authority paired up with Enterprise Ireland and MRIA to fund delegates to attend the event and showcase Ireland’s offerings to the emerging ocean energy sector. Representatives from Lir National Ocean Test Facility, MaREI, Smartbay and the Marine Institute stood alongside SEAI at the “Ireland Open for Business” stand to promote Ireland’s unrivalled natural resources and testing infrastructure to a dynamic international market.
Several Irish companies were supported by Enterprise Ireland to attend including, Exceedence, Techworks, Ocean Energy, Technology from Ideas and Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions; ensuring an opportunity for investors to network with local businesses in conjunction with technical development experts.
Declan Meally, Head of Emerging Sectors, SEAI, said: "The objective at this major international event is to show that Ireland is open for business and is actively committed to harnessing its abundant wave, tidal and offshore wind energy resources in an environmentally sustainable manner. The government through its departments and agencies (led by DCENR) is dedicated to developing an indigenous ocean energy industry, which is a real opportunity that will deliver future economic and societal benefits for the citizens of Ireland. To that end, collaboration, both nationally and internationally, is key. To facilitate the development of the sector we're very keen to explore all collaborative opportunities, where Ireland can offer its strengths in areas like test facilities, technology supports, supply chain availability and grid infrastructure."
Meally added,” With a sea area ten times our land mass, this market has the potential to be worth €15 billion to Ireland's economy by 2050. Irish companies are making innovative technology developments and SEAI since 2009 has made grant offers of almost €12m to 68 technology projects.”
Irish companies were also well represented in successful projects announced at the event. For instance the FloTEC project has been awarded €10 million by the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme. The project will bring together 10 industry and research organisations to provide low-cost, high-value tidal energy to the European grid mix, 5 of which are Irish partners, including DP Energy, UCC and EireComposites are involved in this project.
SEAI also announced at the event that the Ocean Development Prototype Fund is contributing €4.3million to 15 new marine energy projects in 2016. These successful projects and companies and the support provided by the relevant agencies are certainly placing Ireland as a forerunner in the international ocean energy market.Read More...
Ireland’s Marine Renewable Energy Atlas is an on-line mapping service for the marine renewable energy community. Researchers, developers and anyone with an interest in the future prospects for Ireland’s offshore renewable energy can freely view and download relevant marine spatial data. The Marine Energy Atlas is a one-stop-shop for spatial information about the marine environment. It is a planning tool for resource assessment, identification of sites for development or understanding environmental and oceanographic interactions.Read More...
Today the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) announced a Memorandum of Understanding with Apple to promote the development of ocean energy in Ireland. Apple has committed a €1 million fund that will help developers who receive an SEAI grant to test their ocean energy prototypes in the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site.
Welcoming the announcement Minister for Communication, Energy and Natural Resources Alex White T.D. “The west coast of Ireland is recognised as having some of the best wave resources in the world and I warmly welcome this agreement between Apple and SEAI to help harness this renewable source of energy. "This is an excellent achievement for Ireland and shows that when it comes to ocean energy development, Ireland is definitely open for business.”
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to collaborate with Apple. Its track record in development and innovation is second to none and its support to the emerging wave energy industry will be a major boost nationally.” said Dr Brian Motherway, SEAI’s CEO.
The Galway Bay test site, in operation since 2006, is a state of the art facility which enables the testing of wave energy technologies at quarter scale.
“We're excited by the potential of ocean energy to someday serve as a source of clean power for the data centre we are building in Athenry, County Galway," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. "We are deeply committed to powering all our facilities with 100 percent renewable energy and believe investing in innovative projects will make reaching our goal easier."Read More...
The Ocean Energy Portal (“the Portal”) developed by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and the Marine Institute, is a “first stop shop” enabling developers to engage with Ireland’s ocean energy support sectors aswell as providing the most relevant and up to date industry information. It brings together information from 26 different agencies involved in supporting and developing the sector.
The portal acts as a ‘sign-post’ to guide developers through the supports available in Ireland for the development of the marine renewable energy sector. SEAI and Marine Institute continue to work on the portal to make sure the information on the site remains relevant and up to date. Recent updates to the Portal include:
1. Mean Current Data for Galway Bay
Real time observations are taken from the Wave Buoy located at the Galway Bay Marine and Renewable Energy Test Site, off the coast of Spiddal in County Galway. The existing dataset has been extended to include Current Speed data. This offers Ocean Energy developers a more complete picture of the Galway Bay test site environment.
2. The Marine Renewable Energy Atlas
For the first time developers can map and layer data sets relevant to the marine renewable sector on a free GIS system. Come visit the page at: http://ow.ly/U2hL5
3. Future Portal Updates
Future Portal updates will include additional offshore data via the Commissioner of Irish Lights (CIL) lighthouses and buoys. The CIL buoys are equipped with meteorological and oceanographic (MetOcean) sensors and transmit their data to CIL headquarters via AIS Metocean Buoy’s. This information will be available through the Portal in the near future.Read More...
Ocean Energy Europe 2015
Up to 500 delegates are expected to converge on Dublin this week for the most important event in the ocean energy calendar - Ocean Energy Europe 2015, supported by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The conference and exhibition will be held over two days from Tuesday the 20th to Wednesday the 21st of October and will feature companies and organisations from across Europe, representing a broad cross-section of the ocean energy sector, and offering unrivalled opportunities to network and do business.
The Ireland Ocean Energy stand, which will be located in the centre of the OEE 2015 exhibition hall, will be promoting the work that is done by l Irish agencies in support of the ocean energy sector in Ireland.
The partners that will be represented on the stand include:
- The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland
- The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
- The Marine Institute
- Enterprise Ireland
- Smartbay Ireland
- LiR National Ocean Test Facility
With its world-class ocean energy resource and industrial expertise, Ireland is a natural choice for the 2015 edition of Ocean Energy Europe’s annual conference and exhibition, and confirms Ireland is Open for Business!Read More...
Monday 10th August 2015: A significant piece of ocean research infrastructure was brought to fruition with the completion of the Galway Bay underwater ocean observatory over the weekend. Through the combined effort of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), the Marine Institute and Commissioners of Irish Lights, the final piece of equipment has been deployed to give researchers and ocean energy developers unique insight into the Galway bay marine environment.Read More...
The Marine Institute recently commissioned a video showing the installation of the subsea power and data cable at the Ocean Energy Testbed in Galway Bay. It features interviews with representatives from the partnering institutions, including The Marine Institute and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) SmartBay Ltd, MarEI (UCC) and Dublin City University. The cable provides critical infrastructure to support the trial and validation of novel sensors and prototype wave energy equipment within a real-world marine environment. The installation is taking place in several phases and the observatory is expected to be fully operational by September 2015.Read More...
SFI MaREI Centre & LIR to be housed at €15 Million Beaufort Building in Ireland’s maritime quarterRead More...
An Taoiseach Enda Kenny T.D. officially opened the UCC Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork on Saturday 11th of July. Beaufort will house both the LIR National Ocean Test Facility (NOTF) and 135 researchers from the MaREI centre (www.marei.ie). The 4,700m2 five storey building with state-of-the-art wave simulators, test tanks, workshops and offices provides Ireland with world-class infrastructure for renewable energy and maritime research to power the ‘blue economy’.
The International Convention for Marine Renewable Energy (THETIS MRE) in Nantes, France was on 20th-21st May 2015. The theme of the Conference was ‘Marine Renewable Energy, from Opportunity to Industrial Reality.’ It provided an opportunity to (i) Promote services dedicated to marine renewable energy that will support business development; (ii) Gather national and international stakeholders to promote the role of marine renewable energy within energy policy.Read More...
The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) will hold an energy information event at the Civic Offices in Belmullet on 11th June 2015. Members of the public are invited to attend this event to get updates on the proposed Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site and free energy saving advice for their homes and businesses that will be available on the day between 2pm and 8pm.Read More...
The first phase of installation of Ireland’s first subsea cabled observatory was completed this week. The observatory is located at the Ocean Energy Test and Demonstration Site in Galway Bay. The test site is located 1.5km offshore in water depths of circa. 23m and is restricted to shipping. The first phase of the installation was the deployment of the cable which extends from a shore station located at the second level school ‘Colaiste Chroí Mhuire,’ in Spiddal to an underwater frame on the test site. The cable is 4km in length and provides power and high bandwidth delivery of data to the observatory and the test site.Read More...
Welcome to the Ireland’s Marine Renewable Energy Portal! The Portal provides a consolidated source of information for the ocean energy community - it is a ‘one stop shop’ where you can find the most relevant and up to date information. It is your guide to marine renewable energy development in Ireland. In excess of 25 organisations have contributed content to the site.Read More...
The site was launched at the International Conference on Ocean Energy (ICOE) in Halifax in November 2014, the sector’s leading industry event. This launch consisted of a conference presentation delivered by Brian Carroll of DCENR (see here), a promotional video and an exhibition stand that drew under the Irish representatives at the event together under the Ocean Energy Ireland brand.