Monday, February 15, 2021

A Mayo based company is playing a leading role in developing Ireland’s floating solar industry.

The Ballina-based SolarMarine Energy Ltd has designed an innovative floating hybrid renewable energy system that produces green hydrogen. Solar Marine Energy

This clean fuel can be used for heating and transport or to store and transport energy and, SolarMarine Energy’s research indicates that this form of low carbon, renewable energy is ideal for island and coastal communities.

The company’s ground-breaking research and development project has been facilitated thanks to funding under the Marine Institute’s 2018 Industry-Led Awards scheme which provided a total of €2.4 million in funding for 12 research projects working in collaboration with five higher education institutions.

Eamon Howlin, CEO of SolarMarine Energy said, “The floating solar industry is only emerging in Europe, having been established in Japan in 2014, and has a projected market value of over $1 billion by 2023.

“Thanks to our collaborative study in partnership with the Marine Institute and University College Cork, SolarMarine Energy Ltd are playing an important part in this developing industry.”

Dr Paul Leahy, Science Foundation Ireland MAREI Centre at University College Cork (UCC) said, “Our collaboration with SolarMarine Energy has been very successful and we would like to continue working with the company on a follow-up demonstrator project. A floating solar array prototype located near UCC’s Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, would allow SolarMarine and UCC to capitalise on the design work undertaken under the Marine Institute funded project, and bring the SolarMarine floating solar concept closer to market.”

Dr Niall McDonough, Director of Policy, Research and Innovation at the Marine Institute remarked, “Supporting new marine renewable energy solutions is a strategic priority for Ireland to meet the targets of the Climate Action Plan 2019.

“Through our competitive funding programme, the Marine Institute provides grants to companies in Ireland to undertake research and to develop innovative concepts, prototypes, solutions and business models.

“This kind of support is essential to boost ocean business and to enable the transition to a climate-neutral blue economy.”

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