UCC spin off company riding the wave of renewable energy technology

A UCC spin-off company specialising in wave, tidal, and offshore windfarm technology hopes to make €10m- €15m per year in the next five years and has the potential to make significantly more.

The company, Exceedence, which is based at IMERC (Irish Maritime Energy Research Cluster) in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, has developed a software package which can be used anywhere in the world to find the ideal location for renewable energy projects.

Exceedence founder and chief executive Ray Alcorn said the software was developed over three years by UCC scientists and technicians and is the only system of its type which provides a comprehensive overview of the outcome of an off-shore project.

He said that around 20 companies, including some multinationals, were trialling it in Germany, Australia, the USA, and the Phillipines.

“Around $200bn [€175.5bn] is being spent worldwide every year on renewable energy projects. It’s the biggest growth area in energy and we hope to tap into that massive market,” said Mr Alcorn.

The Exceedence package also allows companies to construct a business plan from the data received.

“It tells them (depending on positioning, etc) whether they will make or lose money, how long it will take to get into profit, and what outlay will be needed,” he said.

“Larger pension fund operators need to see when they will get their money back. They want a very low risk option and thus are prepared to take a lower return than other investors who accept higher risks for a higher return.”

The company currently employs five full-time salespeople who are mainly concentrating on selling the programme to European markets at present.

Meanwhile, the country’s research centre for marine and renewable energy, MaREI — which is also based in Ringaskiddy — has secured €750,000 in funding from the NTR Foundation.

The philanthropic investment will be used to identify and exploit the opportunities for future energy requirements as the country makes the transition to a low carbon economy.

NTR Foundation chairman Rosheen McGuckian said they were pleased to support this ground-breaking research project, which will address opportunities for climate change mitigation.

“The UCC Environmental Research Institute and the MaREI Centre are acknowledged leaders in this field and this work will contribute to building resilience for Ireland in a number of scenarios, while also identifying opportunities for entrepreneurs,” said Ms McGuckian.

Around 93% of our energy needs are currently being met by fossil fuels and 89% is imported, posing challenges and yet enormous opportunities for Ireland in the energy efficiency and renewables sectors.

Over the last 15 years our share of electricity from renewable sources has grown to 23%.


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