Irish researchers collaborating on seven European research projects to advance energy efficient and renewable energy systems.

SEAI has awarded €1 million to Irish companies and research institutions to carry out innovative energy research projects in the areas of smart energy systems and offshore renewable energy. Funding for Irish participants is provided by SEAI through the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, with additional funding leveraged from the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.

The Government’s Climate Action Plan, published last year, sets out actions across every sector which will ensure we meet our future climate commitments. Research is crucial and the Plan highlights the importance of competitive funding rounds to promote research and innovation to meet the climate challenge.

Irish researchers will collaborate with companies and research institutions across Europe on seven new projects. These projects were awarded under the European Commission Smart Energy Systems and Ocean Energy ERA-Net initiatives.

Ireland has the opportunity to become a global leader in offshore energy. The Climate Action Plan will see us increase the amount of renewables on our grid from the current level of around 35% for electricity generation to 70%. At least 3,500MW will come from offshore wind. The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme will provide the first opportunity for offshore wind to come onto our grid at scale. Building the capacity to be innovative in this sector and in many other areas of opportunity in a decarbonising world will be vital to our future.
Richard Bruton TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment
These competitive energy research initiatives have attracted very strong interest internationally, so I would like to congratulate each Irish recipient and their international collaborators on their success. As SEAI continues to strengthen Ireland's energy research landscape, I am delighted that we can facilitate Irish participation in these initiatives by providing research funding and support. These collaborative projects bring people together to create new ideas, form new partnerships and find solutions to the challenges we face as we transition towards a cleaner energy future.
William Walsh, CEO of SEAI

Successful projects with Irish partners include:

  • BEYOND is a project that will demonstrate market designs for the integration of local smart grids into centralised grids; including investigating the application of blockchain technologies. The project will include four real-life pilots in three countries, including an Irish demonstration in the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry.  It is led by the International Energy Research Centre and Tyndall National Institute Ireland, UCC, with collaboration from ESB Networks.
  • PIGergy aims to develop and validate innovative solutions to treat pig waste and is led by GlasPort Bio Ltd., Galway. This will support the development of a low-carbon energy system and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • WEC4Ports will explore the integration of Wave Energy Converters in port breakwaters, to develop a cost-effective mechanism of delivering renewable energy for significant transport hubs. Irish partner ÉireComposites, will lead Turbine design and manufacturing.
  • The SEASNAKE project will provide a step change in the overall performance of a medium voltage cable systems, while ensuring that they are highly reliable and lower the risks of ocean energy installations. Irish partners are Ocean WaveVenture.

More details on the funding calls and projects

ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems Joint Call

The ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems initiative supports technologies, systems and solutions that will enable the development of a more resilient European energy system, by supporting regions and local communities to move towards a zero carbon energy system by 2030. The initiative involves 30 national and regional funding partners across 23 countries, with a total of €33 million in funding available. Irish researchers have been awarded funding as part of four projects, collaborating with companies and research institutions from Austria, Italy, Norway, Scotland, Spain and Sweden, to advance smart energy systems. Three of these four projects are led by Irish partners, demonstrating Ireland’s leadership capacity in international energy research and development.

Up to €500,000 in funding will be provided by SEAI under the SEAI National Energy Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) Funding Programme, with the remaining project funding to be provided by the European Commission. Funding for the SEAI National Energy RD&D Funding Programme is provided by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.

The four successful ERA-Net Smart Energy Systems projects with Irish partners are:

BEYOND

This project will demonstrate market designs for the integration of local 'smart grids' into centralised grids; including investigating the application of blockchain technologies. The project will include four real-life pilots in three countries, including an Irish demonstration in the Dingle Peninsula, Co. Kerry. 

International Energy Research Centre, Tyndall National Institute Ireland, UCC; with collaboration from ESB Networks.

EV-CHIP

This project will explore the potential for centrally-optimised electric vehicle charging, integrated with building energy management systems.

The Energy Institute, UCD (Lead).

REDAP

This project aims to automate, improve and replicate a proven Irish energy demand analysis system, designed for the Dublin region, and in other European regions.

Spatial Outlook Ltd (Lead); along with Irish project partners the Irish Centre for High End Computing (ICHEC); and Codema.

PIGergy

This project aims to develop and validate innovative solutions to treat pig waste. This will support the development of a low-carbon energy system and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

GlasPort Bio Ltd., Galway (Lead).

Ocean ERA-Net Joint Call

Ocean Energy ERA-NET Cofund (OCEANERA-NET COFUND) is a five-year action supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme for Research and Innovation. This project operates from 2017 to 2021. Funding for this Joint Call is provided by seven funding organisations from four countries (Ireland, Portugal, Spain and Sweden) and three regions (Flanders (Belgium), Pays de la Loire (France) and Scotland (UK). These funding organisations have allocated funds of up to €6.82m to this Joint Call.

The three successful Ocean ERA-Net projects with Irish partners are:

OPTIMOR

This project aims to deliver a multi-MW crossflow tidal power system for deployment in European markets.

ORPC Ireland Ltd, Dublin (Lead)

WEC4Ports

This project will explore the integration of Wave Energy Converters in port breakwaters, in order to develop a cost-effective mechanism of delivering renewable energy for significant transport hubs.

ÉireComposites, Galway, is the industry partner on the project and will lead Turbine design and manufacturing.

SeaSnake

The main goal of the SEASNAKE project is to provide a step change in the overall performance of a medium voltage cable system, while ensuring that they are highly reliable and lower the risks of ocean energy installations.

Ocean WaveVenture, Cork