Ireland’s involvement in the international Technology Collaboration Programme on Ocean Energy Systems.
Ireland is involved with the Ocean Energy Systems Technology Collaboration Programme. This programme is an intergovernmental collaboration between countries which operate under a framework established by the International Energy Agency (IEA). Within this framework, one of the project Ireland is working on relates to the environmental effects of ocean energy development on the marine environment.
In response to increased activity in the development of ocean, wave and tidal current energy in the late nineties, and the need for technology cooperation between countries, the IEA launched the Ocean Energy Systems Technology Collaboration Programme (TCP) in 2001.
The collaboration brings together countries to advance research, development and demonstration of conversion technologies to harness energy from all forms of ocean renewable resources, such as tides, waves, currents, temperature gradient, etc.
Ireland has worked with the Ocean Energy Systems TCP since 2009.
Development in Ireland
Within the Ocean Energy Systems TCP, work is organised in a number of projects or 'Tasks'. Since Ireland joined the programme, we have become involved with ‘Ocean Energy Systems: Task 4’, among others. Task 4 looks at assessing the environmental effects and monitoring efforts for ocean wave, tidal and current energy systems.
Dr. Anne Marie O’Hagan, a Senior Research Fellow at the Marine and Renewable Energy Research Centre in UCC, is the Irish representative for Task 4. Dr. O'Hagan commends the benefits of participating in OES Environmental:
”Involvement in an IEA Task is a great way to get your research into the international domain and perhaps even influence future policy. It also provides endless opportunities for international scientific collaboration," she states.
Benefits and Impacts
There are numerous advantages to participating in the Ocean Energy Systems TCP/Task 4. Dr. Anne Marie O’Hagan notes that “you get to work and learn from skilled scientists from all across the world, discuss your own work and learn from others experiences”; overall, the initiative provides “reliable information and insights into research and monitoring of environmental effects of marine energy devices.”
As highlighted by Dr. Anne Marie O’Hagan, the work completed within Task 4 has led to a number of positive impacts for the sector in Ireland:
The work completed contributes to Maritime Spatial Planning in Ireland, which is currently being developed.
Regular contact through OES Environmental Country Analyst’s calls, webinars and in-person meetings provide multiple opportunities for international collaboration in terms of knowledge transfer, project proposals and joint publications, which contribute to the overall enhancement of Irish scientific capacity and capability.
The State of the Science report acts as a compendium of the most comprehensive and current scientific information on the environmental effects of marine renewable energy. The report is written for government officials, regulators, policy makers, resource managers, marine renewable energy developers, researchers and stakeholders. As such it has a huge role to play in increasing knowledge of marine renewable energy and could also help to improve societal acceptance of these novel technologies.
Through the SEAI IEA Technology Collaboration Programme Appointment Call, the Marine and Renewable Energy Research Centre in UCC was able to secure additional funding to allow Dr. Anne Marie O'Hagan to travel and attend Task 4 meetings.
Learn More About IEA TCP participation