UL MaREI team has successfully recovered a stranded mini boat Black Rock from the rocky shores of Doolin, Co. Clare. Elementary students from Swan’s Island School launched the mini boat earlier this year and it sailed over the rough Atlantic Ocean for 172 days before getting stranded on the shores of Ireland. Black Rock will be repaired with the help of a local elementary school and sent on her return journey in early 2018.
Prof Jerry Murphy, director of the MaREI centre in Cork, believes we need new solutions to our urgent energy demands….
Collaborative citizen science project ‘Seabirdwatch’ launched to help monitor declining seabird populations…
MaREI has appointed UCC professors Brian Ó Gallachóir and Jerry Murphy as its new co-directors…
With over 500 delegates in attendance and over 100 papers presented, the EWTEC Conference hosted by MaREI was a massive success. Congratulations to all involved. Take a look at some of the highlights here.
The below article was published in The Irish Times by Lorna Siggins. See here for the original article.
When one of the world’s largest energy companies identifies solar, wind and nuclear as targets for diversified investment, advocates of ocean energy might just feel despondent.
Similarly, when former US vice-president and Nobel prize-winning politician Al Gore places so much faith in solar power during his sequel documentary, An Inconvenient Sequel, one might expect a note of disappointment in Prof Tony Lewis’s voice.
However, Lewis is optimism undimmed when it comes wave and tidal potential. The fact that Saudi Arabia’s Aramco would identify sun and wind as priorities for diversification into renewables is as much about geography as the fact that solar and wind costs are falling.
“Of course, money is going into solar in the short term, as the Chinese have filled the market with cheap solar cells,” Prof Lewis says. “And there has been significant increase in interest in solar farms in Ireland.”
“But by 2050, we are going to need everything we have got to reach Paris climate agreement targets, and that has to include wave and tidal energy, solar, wind and biomass,” he says. “For wave and tidal potential, geography is definitely on our side.”
Dubbed Ireland’s “ocean energy daddy” and with a penchant for bow ties, Prof Lewis is emeritus Beaufort professor at University College Cork, and principal investigator at the State’s Marine Renewable Energy Ireland centre (MaREI) .
He is also host of next week’s European Wave and Tidal Energy conference in Cork – regarded as one of the world’s leading forums for this sector.
“When the first of these conferences was held in Greece, about 60 people attended. Ireland hosted the fifth of these in 2003, and there were about 160 registered,” he recalls. “We have over 450 registered for this one, and more people inquiring every day.”
The EU has set a target of 100 gigawatts of energy from marine resources by 2050. Some of the 366 papers and 78 parallel sessions listed for the conference in University College Cork, Cork City Hall and MaREI in Ringaskiddy will be debating how this can come about.
To put the European target in context, Ireland’s total annual generation capacity of energy from all sources is 10 gigawatts, and more than 85 per cent of that is imported.
“We need to develop our indigenous energy so that we have security of supply, but also to exploit the incredible market opportunity presented by the 100 Gigawatt target,”he says. “If you think of it, nearly two gigowatts of that 10 is from onshore wind, and the ocean could produce the balancing seven gigowatts if the entire west coast of Ireland was developed for same.”
Six years ago, an SQW Energy study for the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland and Invest Northern Ireland forecast that the island of Ireland ocean energy sector could be producing a net present value of €9 billion, creating “several thousand jobs”, by 2030. German engineering major Siemens estimated that this island’s offshore and onshore wind, wave and tidal resource accounted for one-third of all such potential in western Europe.
There’s a danger in overly ambitious targets and false optimism, however, as several early pioneers in the sector discovered to their cost. Prof Lewis acknowledges that there are still technical challenges, from anchoring to storage of excess power. An interim review of the State’s offshore renewable energy development plan is due this year.
At the same time, there have been many advances, with wind and solar costs below those of fossil fuel electricity in some parts of the world, and developments in biogas to create a liquid fuel from carbon dioxide and hydrogen, Prof Lewis notes.
“So we are going to have a combination of different ways of using energy, with batteries for storage making more sense in small communities – like Pacific islands, which may become niche developers of ocean energy,” he says.
“Smartgrids which combine wave energy and storage and different types of production, allowing for exporting excess, will also suit smaller communities,” he says. “Electronics allow this to happen.”
He points to the progress in tidal energy made by OpenHydro, founded in 2004 and employing some 120 people in Dublin and Carlingford, Co Louth.
“It is now selling tidal energy turbines in France and Canada, and building a factory in northern France,” Prof Lewis says. “Tidal stream energy offers less opportunities as a resource here, but the technology is simpler, so you could see large arrays of these turbines deployed very soon.”
“Similarly, Cork company Ocean Energy has been testing a 500kw device at the US Navy test site in Hawaii, with funding from the US and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland,” he says.
The Cobh company had initially tried its smaller scale technology at the Marine Institute’s test site in Galway Bay, and this 500kw device is the next step. It may then be deployed at the ESB International West Wave project off the Clare coast, he says.
“Both Ocean Energy and Sea Power are hoping to overcome the challenges of developing proper anchoring/mooring systems, working with other Irish companies,” he says.
The progress, or otherwise, of adequate planning legislation is another one of those loose ends. A Maritime Area and Foreshore (Amendment) Bill has been listed as a “priority” for several Dáíl terms. The legislation is driven by the EU’s “blue growth” strategy, and gives new powers to Bord Pleanála and coastal local authorities.
“I guess it has to be fit for purpose, and that includes communities,” Prof Lewis acknowledges. “It is a matter of balancing use of the marine environment for energy, fishing, aquaculture and tourism – to everybody’s satisfaction.”
MaREI and Galway Atlantaquaria teamed up to present an interactive exhibit ‘Discover Oceans of Energy’ at SeaFest…
MaREI and the Lir National Ocean Test Facility Win at the Marine Industry Awards
MaREI and the Lir National Ocean Test Facility have won the Excellence in Marine Research Award and the Excellence in Marine Renewable Energy Award respectively at the recently held Marine Industry Awards held in Galway as part of SeaFest 2017. The Awards reflect the Centre’s contribution to excellence in Ireland’s maritime economy which, in 2016, showed a 23% increase in turnover, a 20% increase in gross value added (GVA) and a 10% increase in employment compared to 2014.
Professor Jerry Murphy, Director of MaREI said, ‘I am delighted to receive this award on behalf of the MaREI Centre. The Centre continues to grow and represents six institutes across Ireland, employs over 180 researchers and has over 45 industry partners. This latest success reflects the cutting edge and impactful research that we are carrying out across the Marine, Marine Renewable Energy and Renewable sectors.’
Techcentral.ie recently interviewed MaREI Principle Investigator Professor John Ringwood. Read about what he has to say in this article.
The Sprint accelerator programme at UCC’s Gateway innovation hub is celebrating its second year with a new cohort of potential startups.
A new batch of 12 ideas are taking part in Sprint II, the accelerator programme at Gateway, the innovation hub of University College Cork.
The chosen participants are developing services for a number of industries and issues, including infant neurology, irritable bowel syndrome, renewable energy, data analytics and scientific instrumentation.
Established as a support programme for spin-out and researcher-led UCC start-ups seeking accommodation in the Gateway hub, Sprint’s second coming was revealed on 5th May by Prof Patrick O’Shea, president of the university.
“Research in our technology centres and institutes is delivering valuable and novel solutions to many of the issues we face today,” said Myriam Cronin, manager of Gateway UCC.
“Supporting innovators from idea generation to start-up, with a particular focus on commercialisation of research, has been key to the success of Gateway UCC, now recognised as a leading innovation and incubation centre nationally.
“Following the success of Sprint, we have adapted and grown the accelerator programme this year, and we are delighted to announce a second programme.”
Since opening in 2011, Gateway UCC claims that the start-ups that have come through its hub – numbered in the 40s – now employ 250 people and contribute an estimated €15m in wages and €5m in tax to the local economy.
Calling it a “true example of the ‘triple helix’ at work”, O’Shea lauded the coming together of academia, government and industry, before highlighting the effectiveness of Sprint by lauding last year’s stand-out participant.
O’Shea presented the an award to medical device start-up Skellig Surgical, which focuses on the development of user-centred, minimally invasive technology. The company made news in January when its first commercial product – designed to manipulate organs that obscure and limit the ability to perform keyhole surgery – was licensed.
O’Shea also presented an award to Food Choice at Work, a start-up developing a management system for healthy eating in the workplace. Both companies are resident in Gateway UCC, employing 12 people between them.
MaREI researcher, Joseph Coleman, from the University of Limerick, participated in the Pint of Science Limerick event, bringing science and engineering closer to general public.
The EU MaRINET2 initiative first access call is opening on the 10th April, the website www.marinet2.eu will also become live on that date. MaRINET2 is a network of 39 partners, involving research centres and organisations cooperating to progress offshore renewable energy technologies such as wave, tidal and offshore-wind. It achieves this through marine energy development companies, entrepreneurs, start-ups and researchers with fully-funded access to marine energy experts and advanced test facilities.
MMRRC’s deirector and MaREI Co-PI, gave a talk on the Engineers Ireland event, jointly organised by Engineers Ireland, Mechanical and Manufacturing Division, and Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
MaREI attends unveiling of the OC1, tidal energy device at the Limerick Docs.
The MMRRC team hosted a meeting to discuss the San Marcos Project, focused on the Spanish Armada shipwrecks.
Drone & Tech Expo Ireland took place in Dublin this weekend, 10-12 March 2017. We have enjoyed discussing drones with both professionals and general public.
MMRRC researchers participated in the Dingle IOThon event, focused on exploring the challenges and opportunities of the Internet of Things (IOT).
MMRRC and Marine Institue participated in a Work Class ROV Trials near Portroe, Ireland.
Distributed Testing Infrastructures United To Create An Integrated Centre For Delivering Offshore Renewable Energy
MaREI have released a new position paper outlining the benefits and prospects of Green Gas. Find out more here.
UCC Alumni Darius Bartlett launches new book in the UCC ERI Beaufort Building: ‘Geoinformatics for Marine and Coastal Management’
The EU MaRINET2 initiative aims to accelerate the development of offshore renewable energy technologies and infrastructure…
MaREI’s Ash Bennison wins audience vote at FameLab Cork Heats!
MMRRC at UL, has purchased a new ROV, and associated launch and recovery systems, under a MaREI SFI infrastructure grant.
IMPACT 2017 (International Microplastics Photo Contest) to kick off with cash prizes!
MaREI director Professor Jerry Murphy and researcher Prof Henry Curran were ranked amongst the most cited researchers worldwide according to ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2016…
Anne Marie O’Hagan is one of the authors of a new publication on MSP for enhanced fisheries & aquaculture sustainability in the Near East
Floating wind turbine undergoes extreme testing in Irelands’ National Ocean Test Facility
Non-governmental organisations visit UCC’s ERI recently for a stakeholder engagement event on climate change
The first week of June in 2016 bore witness to the 35th annual International Energy Workshop (IEW) hosted in Ireland’s own University College Cork.
A recent BBC video discusses findings from paper co-written by MaREI researcher Ailbhe Kavanagh
The ‘Ocean Energy Strategic Roadmap’, produced by the Ocean Energy Forum, was recently launched to identify the challenges facing the sector on its path to commercial readiness and to identify solutions to overcome them.
The Environmental Research Institute hosted a joint seminar with the University of FH Burgenland, Austria on Friday, November 4th on Different Perspectives on the Energy Transition.
Professor Brian Ó Gallachóir examines how the Government could demonstrate a commitment to climate action and have more money to spend on budget day.
MaREI announces the kick-off of a multi-million euro technology development project funded by the EU’s Horizon 2020 Programme…
MaREI researchers took part in the Celebrate Science Open Day at UCC on Sunday Nov 13th as part of the Cork Science Festival…
Science Foundation Ireland and the National Science Foundation in the US announced an award of €2m in funding for a renewable energy research project that will be undertaken by MaREI…
MaREI team from UCC finalists at this years SEAI Energy awards…
MaREI researchers and PhD students participated in the 8th Breaking the Surface 2016 Workshop.
Its that time again, Cork Science Festival returns. This year is bigger and better than ever, with MaREI involved in two day events, suitable for all the family…
The ERI and Energy Cork have launched the 2016 Cork Climathon to take place on the 28th October in Cork.
MaREI will host two free Ocean Energy courses for the Marine Renewable Energy industry on October 17th and November 14th 2016…
A delegation from the prestigious Zhejiang University, which included their Vice President and Director of the Institute for Thermal Energy, visited MaREI’s new headquarters at the Beaufort Building…
MAREI and MARINET are delighted to support the 6th International Conference on Ocean Energy 2016 (ICOE 2016), held from 23rd-25th February at the EICC Edinburgh.
The Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy are running a series of regional adaptation training workshops in September and October for Local Authority staff…
MaREI students win awards at the Civil Engineering Research in Ireland 2016 (CERI2016) hosted at NUI Galway…
Seabird colonies extending from Ireland’s Skellig Michael up to the Arctic are being monitored with time-lapse cameras as part of an international project on climate change.
Professor John Sodeau discusses climate change and what Ireland can do to play its part in the fight against the phenomenon termed global warming…
Global leaders in the field of marine renewable energy were in Cork on February 29th and March 1st to attend a 2-day symposium in honour of the ‘father of ocean energy’, MaREI’s Prof. Tony Lewis.
MaREI has secured €750,000 in philanthropic funding from the NTR Foundation to facilitate research on opportunities presented by transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
The Environmental Protection Agency launched the publication of Guidelines for Planning for Climate Change adaptation for Local Authorities on May 26th.
The largest wave tank at the Lir National Ocean Test Facility was commissioned for operational use on Monday, April 25th. It was the first time that a 1 m high wave was generated in the tank.
MaREI’s new headquarters at University College Cork’s (UCC) Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, will officially open on the 11th July 2015…
The MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy hosted a festival ‘discovery day’ event on Sunday, June 5th as part of the Cork Harbour Open Festival…
Experts from across Ireland gathered at NUI Galway in May for a symposium on ‘Research, Development and Innovation in Marine and Renewable Energy in Ireland’. The symposium was hosted by MaREI, Ireland’s Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy.
The demand for energy is growing relentlessly with the pressures of population growth and improved living standards. With a sea to land ratio of over 10:1, Ireland is ideally placed to address this challenge through our marine and renewable energy resources.
The main scientific, technical and socio-economic challenges across the marine and energy spaces were discussed at the event. It provides an opportunity for researchers to disseminate their research, identify further opportunities for collaboration and discuss the future direction of marine and renewable energy in Ireland.
Professor Jerry Murphy, interim director of MaREI, said MaREI’s strategy is aligned to national priorities and international roadmaps in marine and renewable energy and Ireland’s transition to a low carbon energy future.
“MaREI research achieves high impact by ensuring relevance and accessibility to academia, industry and policy makers. One of MaREI’s great strengths is its multidisciplinary approach to research and its engagement with stakeholders. By working collaboratively across all MaREI’s six institutions and with its 46 industry partners, it is possible to assemble the skill sets needed for impactful research,” he said.
“The investment in world-class research facilities in Ireland for ocean energy is hugely important to bringing technology to market and helping Ireland to develop an export market for Ocean Energy Technologies,” said Dr Jamie Goggins, chairperson of the symposium and senior lecturer at NUI Galway.
“The recent State investment in the full scale structural testing facility for tidal turbine blades here at NUI Galway along with the one-quarter scale ocean energy test site and Ocean Observatory in Galway Bay position Ireland at the forefront of testing and development of ocean energy devices,” he added.
MaREI’s industry-led research programme provides innovative solutions that reduce the time to market, and reduce costs to a competitive level.
The Centre has built upon the excellent track record of well-established marine and energy-based research groups across each of its academic partners, covering a wide range of cross-cutting topics across these spaces, including device design and modelling, energy conversion and storage, novel materials and structural testing, operations and decision support, energy policy and modelling, and environmental monitoring.
MaREI is coordinated by the Environmental Research Institute (ERI) at University College Cork and has 130 researchers working across six academic institutions collaborating with over 45 industry partners.
MaREI have been awarded over €4m in grants for research equipment and facilities from the SFI Infrastructure fund for an Open Ocean Emulator (OOE) at UCC and a Marine Renewable Energy Remotely Operated Vehicle (MRE-ROV) at UL. This infrastructure funding was awarded competitively following rigorous international review to research groups where the research equipment and facilities are required to address major research opportunities and challenges including partnerships with industry.
The Open Ocean Emulator integrates test tank developments, state-of-the-art instrumentation and electrical infrastructure such that to create the most advanced small scale model testing capability worldwide. It will complement existing facilities at the Lir Ocean Test Facility at the UCC Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy and enhance Irelands R&D capacity. The OOE will accurately replicate real ocean wave conditions in a laboratory setting and in combination with the use of advanced instrumentation will improve our understanding on how marine structures, such as wave energy converters, floating wind turbines and tidal energy devices, behave. This advanced testing capability will accelerate the path from technology design to real-world applications and contribute to the growth and sustainability of the offshore renewable energy industry in Ireland.
The MaREI team at UL were awarded close to €2M in funding for an MRE-ROV, a key piece of support infrastructure for the development and testing of wave and tidal energy converters and for research and development of technologies for inspection, repair and maintenance of MRE infrastructure in the challenging high energy off shore conditions at MRE farms.
MaREI PhD student Xiufeng Yue has been named UCC’s top Masters graduate in Sustainable Energy by EirGrid…
The Irish Naval Service were announced as the winning team of the IMERC Mechathon which took place in the Lir National Ocean Test Facility in the MaREI Centre for Marine and Renewable Energy…