CorPower Ocean is leading the market for floating Wave Energy Converters (WECs) according to a new report delivered by Ireland’s premier energy company, ESB.
The ‘Emerging Technology Insights’ report provides comprehensive analysis of various emerging energy and digital technologies which will be key to enabling Ireland’s future Net Zero energy system.
The news comes as Simply Blue Group, a leading blue economy developer, recently announced they would be pooling expertise and resources with ESB to deliver a pioneering 5MW wave farm array, off the coast of Ireland.
It follows an MoU signed by the two companies in December 2022 to co-develop Project Saoirse – a ‘first-of-a-kind’ initiative consisting of a 14-WEC array in a first phase of the project, using CorPower Ocean’s technology.
The Saoirse site is located 4-6km off the coast of County Clare, west Ireland. It is approximately 9km northeast of ESB’s former wave project known as “Westwave”.
Simply Blue Group has been developing the project since 2020 having applied for a foreshore licence in June 2021 for site investigation work. In July 2023, Saoirse Wave Energy Ltd was successful in an EU Innovation Fund application to develop the project. ESB and CorPower Ocean supported SBG on the grant application.ESB has been engaged in R&D activities for wave energy over the last two decades, and been scanning the market for a suitable technology to build out wave farms with.
The ‘Emerging Technology Insights’ report states: “There is now a renewed interest in developing this form of renewable energy (wave energy), with new technologies completing successful testing and ambitious European targets. In addition, the rapid growth of offshore wind should benefit wave energy as wave energy can act as a ‘companion technology’ to offshore wind energy and can realise economic benefits for local communities thus easing the consenting path for larger offshore wind projects.”
The European Commission has set wave and tidal energy installed capacity targets of 100MW by 2025 and 1GW by 2030. With the highest wave resource in the EU, Ireland is well positioned to be contribute to the delivery of this target.
The Horizon Europe 2023-2024 Work Programme is offering €19m of grant to two wave pilot farms in Europe, to support the delivery of the EC’s targets.Further support is provided by the EU Innovation Fund and national governments providing grants and revenue support making the early commercial projects financially viable to investors and project developers. This is key to enable the deployment volumes that drives the cost reduction curve, to deliver on the EU Commissions LCOE target of < 100 EUR/MWh after 1GW deployed.
ESB’s full ‘Emerging Technology Insights’ report can be accessed here: https://esb.ie/sustainability/innovation/innovation-performance (See Page 16 for overview on Wave Energy Technology)