Wave Energy Policy in Ireland

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It has been widely recognised for a number of years now that Ireland has one of the best wave energy resources in the world. The reality today, however, is that, after a number of years of investment in Ocean Energy in this country, no full-scale Wave Energy Device has been deployed anywhere around the coast of Ireland. The nearest have been two 1:4 scale devices deployed at the Galway Bay test site – a site which remains totally under-utilised. Taking the longer-term view, it is evident that individual commercial wave farm installations will require investment of tens to hundreds of million euro but the pathway to having Irish companies well-positioned to either lead or otherwise be involved in these projects is littered with obstacles and unclear as one looks to the future.

As the association of Irish wave energy development companies, whose members have already collectively invested their own monies to the tune of several million euro, IWEDA is not happy with the very limited state support that our members have received to date. In terms of policy, we want to highlight the fact that there have been several state bodies involved in developing Ocean Energy in Ireland now for a number of years: having spent large sums of money they have failed to deliver in any practical sense.

This paper looks at the reasons for this failure of policy and how we can build an industry using the existing infrastructure.

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