Ireland Loses Round One of Wave Energy Development Race
The national representative body for Irish wave and tidal energy interests, the MRIA (Marine Renewables Industry Association) has today expressed its disappointment that Scotland’s astute political management, ambition and sheer hunger for jobs has seen them emerge as the clear winners of the first round in the battle to dominate the emerging global wave energy industry. The statement from MRIA was prompted by recent announcements of some 50MW of wave projects in Scotland thought to be worth more than €250m of investment.
In recent days Aegir Wave Power Ltd , a subsidiary of Swedish energy giant Vattenfall , and Aquamarine Power have announced a total of 50MW of seabed leases with potential for wave energy development off the west coast of Scotland. Both Vattenfall and Aquamarine Power had previously expressed a strong desire to develop wave farms in Ireland but Chairman of the MRIA Peter Coyle said today that it is currently impossible for any major developers to locate in Ireland (and to create jobs) in any significant way, as from a Government point of view, Ireland is simply ‘not yet open for business’. Mr. Coyle pointed out that the most important issues hampering the industry could be resolved with very little financial input from the Irish Government, highlighting in particular how quickly and efficiently Scotland published and executed a process to secure wave farm sites- yesterday’s announcement is part of a second leasing round in Scotland while it is noteworthy that the first leasing round in Northern Ireland is about to get underway.