The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) has recently awarded €1 million to Irish companies and research institutions to carry out innovative energy research projects in the areas of smart energy systems and offshore renewable energy. Funding for Irish participants is provided by SEAI through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, with additional funding leveraged from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.
The Government’s Climate Action Plan, published last year, sets out actions across every sector which will ensure we meet our future climate commitments. Research is crucial and the Plan highlights the importance of competitive funding rounds to promote research and innovation to meet the climate challenge.
Irish researchers will collaborate with companies and research institutions across Europe on seven new projects. These projects were awarded under the European Commission Smart Energy Systems and Ocean Energy ERA-Net initiatives.
Commenting, Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, said:
“Ireland has the opportunity to become a global leader in offshore energy. The Climate Action Plan will see us increase the amount of renewables on our grid from the current level of around 35% for electricity generation to 70%. At least 3,500MW will come from offshore wind. The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme will provide the first opportunity for offshore wind to come onto our grid at scale. Building the capacity to be innovative in this sector and in many other areas of opportunity in a decarbonising world will be vital to our future.”
William Walsh, CEO of SEAI said:
“These competitive energy research initiatives have attracted very strong interest internationally, so I would like to congratulate each Irish recipient and their international collaborators on their success. As SEAI continues to strengthen Ireland’s energy research landscape, I am delighted that we can facilitate Irish participation in these initiatives by providing research funding and support. These collaborative projects bring people together to create new ideas, form new partnerships and find solutions to the challenges we face as we transition towards a cleaner energy future.”
Successful projects with Irish partners include:
- BEYOND is a project that will demonstrate market designs for the integration of local smart grids into centralised grids; including investigating the application of blockchain technologies. The project will include four real-life pilots in three countries, including an Irish demonstration in the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry. It is led by the International Energy Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute Ireland, UCC, with collaboration from ESB Networks.
- PIGergy aims to develop and validate innovative solutions to treat pig waste and is led by GlasPort Bio Ltd., Galway. This will support the development of a low-carbon energy system and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- WEC4Ports will explore the integration of Wave Energy Converters in port breakwaters, to develop a cost-effective mechanism of delivering renewable energy for significant transport hubs. Irish partner ÉireComposites, will lead Turbine design and manufacturing.
- The SEASNAKE project will provide a step change in the overall performance of a medium voltage cable systems, while ensuring that they are highly reliable and lower the risks of ocean energy installations. Irish partners are Ocean WaveVenture.