Thousands of jobs will be created after a wave energy company signed a deal with a leading multinational firm, it was confirmed today.
Ocean Energy said the generation of commercial electricity from the sea had moved a step closer after it agreed a supply contract with world-leading turbine maker Dresser-Rand.
Ocean Energy chief executive John McCarthy described the partnership as a milestone in harnessing power from Ireland’s coastal waters.
“Together we will be able to provide clients with a high level of confidence in the global wave energy market which is estimated to be worth €200bn per annum,” he said.
“There will also be the added benefit of creating thousands of Irish jobs as well as providing much needed solutions to our energy and greenhouse gas.”
Under the agreement Dresser-Rand have agreed to develop and supply special turbines for Ocean Energy devices.
The Cork-based firm has successfully tested an energy-generating buoy over the last two-and-a-half years at the Government’s test site in Galway Bay.
The company said it is the only device of its type to have undergone and survived such the rigorous testing and also coped with a one in 40-year wave during the sea trials.
Ocean Energy said the deal – the only one in the world Dresser Hand has entered into – was an endorsement of its technology.
Fine Gael energy spokesman Simon Coveney said the deal may be the essential link between successful pilot testing and the roll out of thousands of commercially viable wave energy generators.
“There were concerns that Ireland was slipping behind other countries in the race to develop commercially viable ocean energy technology but this development deal will be a much welcomed boost for the Irish energy sector,” Mr Coveney said.
Labour’s Liz McManus said: “I hope this positive news will kick start the much promised government programme of support for ocean energy which has never really got off its feet.”
Dresser Rand has roots dating back to 1840 and has 62,000 turbines operating in more than 140 countries. The company is a major player in the oil and gas market with more than 6,000 employees and service centres in 17 countries.
Mr McCarthy added: “To have their support for our company is a significant endorsement of our technology by a company with such pedigree.”
Dresser-Rand vice president Brad Dickson said: “Marine renewable energy is becoming part of the renewable energy mix.
“Capturing just 5% of this theoretical global resource could satisfy 25% of the current global electricity consumption.”