With a three year budget of €2.6 million, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland will be leading a new pan-European project, Ocean Power Innovation Network. OPIN is a cross-sectoral collaborative network that aims to accelerate the growth of the ocean energy sector and its supply chains across the partner regions of Ireland, the UK, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and Germany.
Courtesy of SEAI
The collaboration will bring already proven expertise, capabilities and products from other sectors into the ocean energy sector. This is expected to help to reduce costs and accelerate technology development.
OPIN is also designed to create a forum for collaboration and technology exchange across the partner regions. Companies from regions with ocean energy expertise will interact with potential collaborators from regions that are world leaders in other technology fields (offshore wind energy, oil and gas, aerospace, automotive and manufacturing). OPIN will provide a mechanism to transfer expertise among these regions, addressing the disparities in innovation and economic development across North West Europe.
“We are stepping up our ambition on renewables as part of the all of government Climate Plan, and will be targeting 70 percent for renewable electricity by 2030. Decarbonizing 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,” said Richard Bruton T.D. , Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
“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,” added Jim Gannon, CEO, SEAI.
A series of events will be hosted in partner countries this year, beginning with a symposium in Dublin in September. 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.
OPIN project partners working with SEAI include Scottish Enterprise (UK), Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult (UK), Sirris, the collective centre of the technological industry (Belgium), West Atlantic Marine Energy Community, École Centrale de Nantes (France), Dutch Marine Energy Centre (Netherlands), Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (Germany).