This is the latest in a series of Discussion Papers prepared and published by the Marine Renewables Industry Association (MRIA) with the generous support and encouragement of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI). The illustration on the preceding page indicates the wide range of topics covered in recent years.
Ocean energy can be a major source of jobs and income in Ireland from around the late 2020’s onwards as the tough engineering challenges involved in generating electricity reliably (and at a competitive cost) from wave and tidal energy convertor devices are overcome. Ireland has a substantial wave resource (and a tidal one too, in Northern Ireland), 3 excellent R&D facilities and supportive Government policies. We can become a global supply chain hub for ocean energy and a major exporter of offshore-generated electricity too.
The current challenge is to sustain policy-makers interest and support in this ‘industry of tomorrow’. One key to this for the MRIA is to help lay down the policy infrastructure to support and exploit the almost unique Irish opportunity in the future in ocean energy. Thus, the MRIA has dealt with the most obvious policy needs – finance, R&D, educational requirements etc – in our range of Discussion Papers to date.
This Paper deals with the non-engineering and technology and nonfinancial roadblocks to ocean energy. In particular, it focuses on the important area of insurance which we believe can be both an issue and an opportunity for Ireland. It seeks to raise awareness also of issues in areas as diverse as marine vessel operations and health and safety. Moreover, we update in this Paper, as has been the practice in recent Papers, the evidence for ocean energy’s claim to be a major economic development opportunity.