IMERC signs U.S. Research Agreement on Marine Renewable Energy
Published on: Tuesday, 24 July 2012
The Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Centre (IMERC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding on research collaboration with the U.S. Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Research Center (NNMREC). Christine Gregoire, Governor of Washington State, witnessed the signing.
At the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between IMERC and the U.S. Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Research Center (L-R) Dr Raymond Alcorn, Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre, Dr Val Cummins, Director of IMERC, Capt Hugh Tully, Irish Naval Service, Chris Gregoire, Governor Washington, Prof Patrick Fitzpatrick, UCC, Peter Corcoran, OpenHydro, Lt Niamh Ni Fhatharta, IMERC and Peter Coyle, Chairman of IMERC.
An alliance between Cork Institute of Technology, the Irish Naval Service and UCC, IMERC seeks to harness and integrate public sector and industry expertise to develop the Cluster and to realise the potential of emerging economic sectors, including the nascent ocean energy sector.
Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center (NNMREC) is a partnership between Oregon State University (OSU) and the University of Washington (UW). According to Mr Peter Coyle, Chairman of IMERC, both clusters have a unique range of capabilities and facilities to support marine renewable energy development. The areas of cooperation within the MOU include the exchange of data of mutual interest, mobility of researchers, students and scholars, and joint research, lectures and symposia.
Marine renewable energy encompasses wave, tidal and offshore wind energy. Ireland’s location at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and the location of Washington and Oregon States on the Pacific Ocean provide access to premier wind, wave and tidal resources in Europe and America respectively.
The harnessing of marine renewables in these jurisdictions provides an opportunity to meet energy demands in a way that is economically viable, environmentally benign, and socially acceptable. This is a global challenge and international collaboration is essential to accelerating marine renewable energy along the development pathway.
Researchers at IMERC and NNMREC have developed core competencies in technical, environmental, economic, and social aspects of marine renewable energy development. With both clusters closely engaged in demonstration-scale projects in their respective countries, the coming years will see an unprecedented opportunity for sharing of information and methods between researchers on both sides of the Atlantic.
Governor Gregoire cosigned the MOU on behalf of NNMREC. She is leading a trade delegation to Ireland and the UK with marine renewables as a key theme. She observed that the cooperation will stimulate increased potential for technological advancement and investment in the sector, which is of significant importance for Washington and Oregon States because of their geographical location and natural ocean energy resources.