The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) is leading a new pan-European project, Ocean Power Innovation Network (OPIN), which aims to accelerate the development of the ocean energy sector. With a three year budget of €2.6 million, SEAI will partner with organisations in the UK, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands to explore ways to unlock the potential of this renewable energy resource.
Commenting on the launch, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, T.D. said:
“We are stepping up our ambition on renewables as part of the all of government Climate Plan, and will be targeting 70% for renewable electricity by 2030. Decarbonising our electricity supply is a crucial part of reducing our overall emissions and harnessing Ireland’s ocean energy resources will be key to achieving this for 2030 and beyond. Projects like OPIN that enable European collaboration are critical to us unlocking opportunities to advance the development of our ocean energy sector.”
OPIN will encourage collaboration between the ocean energy sector and other sectors, such as oil and gas, automotive, aerospace, ICT, advanced materials, sensors, and manufacturing, to identify ways to grow the ocean energy supply chain. SEAI is calling on small businesses with expertise that can be used in the ocean sector to join the OPIN project, explore collaboration opportunities with other organisations and avail of the supports available.
Commenting on the enterprise opportunities, Jim Gannon, CEO of SEAI said:
“The basic premise of OPIN is to encourage cross-sectoral and cross-regional collaboration for offshore renewable energy SMEs. This will bring proven expertise, capabilities and products into the ocean energy sector. As we work to remove barriers to offshore renewable energy development, OPIN will help to reduce costs and accelerate both technology and market development.”
A series of events will be hosted in partner countries this year, beginning with a symposium in Dublin in September. Any businesses who are members of the project can attend these events. In addition, OPIN will assess technologies presented by members to benchmark their potential for success, identify potential collaborators, and grants for collaborative groups of SMEs.