By Lorna Siggins, Marine Correspondent, for IrishTimes.com: THE European Commission has appointed leading Irish ocean energy researchers to co-ordinate a €9 million ($11.7 million) test programme aimed at accelerating development of marine renewable energy technology.
The Europe-wide programme will be run by University College Cork’s hydraulic and maritime research centre, which has pioneered wave energy potential for many years. The centre will streamline testing at 42 facilities in 28 research centres in 12 European states – all of which are participating in the new marine renewables infrastructure network (Marinet).
Ireland, which shares the most active Atlantic wave system in Europe with Scotland, has several approved test centres – including the national ocean test facility at the centre in Cork and the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s test sites in Galway Bay and Belmullet, Co Mayo.
The programme will offer periods of free marine renewable energy trials at these centres at no cost to participants, through European Commission funding.