Marine Renewal Energy Links with US
The Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Centre and the US Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Research Center have signed a Memorandum of Understanding.
Governor Christine Gregoire, Governor of Washington State, witnessed and signed the agreement with the IMERC Director, Dr. Valerie Cummins, and the NNMREC Director, Prof. Brian Polangye.
The agreement came about following a recent visit by Dr. Cummins to the U.S. where she spent two months developing business and research opportunities in the area of marine renewables. During her visit, which was part of a prestigious Eisenhower Fellowship, she met with Prof. Polangye and his colleagues in Washington State.
Their discussions revealed shared interests between IMERC and NNMREC in research areas such as marine acoustics and hydrodynamic modelling in support of marine renewable energy. Marine renewable energy encompasses wave, tidal and offshore wind energy. Ireland’s location at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the location of Washington and Oregon States on the Pacific Ocean provide access to premier wind, wave and tidal resources in Europe and America respectively.
The harnessing of marine renewables in these jurisdictions provides an opportunity to meet energy demands in a way that is economically viable, environmentally benign, and socially acceptable. This is a global challenge and international collaboration is essential to accelerating marine renewable energy along the development pathway.
Researchers at IMERC and NNMREC have developed core competencies in technical, environmental, economic, and social aspects of marine renewable energy development. With both clusters closely engaged in demonstration-scale projects in their respective countries, the coming years will see an unprecedented opportunity for sharing of information and methods between researchers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Governor Gregoire is leading a trade delegation to Ireland and the U.K. with marine renewables as a key theme. She observed that the co-operation will stimulate increased potential for technological advancement and investment in the sector, which is of significant importance for Washington and Oregon States because of their geographical location and natural ocean energy resources.
IMERC is a tripartite alliance between University College Cork (UCC), Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and the Irish Naval Service (INS). NNMREC is a partnership between Oregon State University (OSU) and the University of Washington (UW). According to Mr. Peter Coyle, Chairman of IMERC, both clusters have a unique range of capabilities and facilities to support marine renewable energy development. The areas of co-operation within the MOU include the exchange of data of mutualinterest, mobility of researchers, students and scholars, and joint research, lectures and symposia.