Mayo company’s floating renewable energy system demonstrates power of Green hydrogen
Mayo-based small business SolarMarine Energy has designed a floating hybrid renewable energy system, which could offer sustainable low-carbon solution for Irish coastal communities.
The research and development project was funded by the Marine Institute’s 2018 Industry-Led Awards scheme. Under the scheme, the Marine Institute provided €2.4 million in funding for research projects to 12 companies, working in collaboration with five higher education institutions.
For this research project, SolarMarine Energy designed a floating solar energy structure to produce green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is generated using excess renewable energy that can be used as a clean fuel, for heating and transport or to store and transport energy.
Eamon Howlin, CEO of SolarMarine Energy, said: “The floating solar industry is only emerging in Europe having been established in Japan in 2014, and has a projected market value of over $1 billion by 2023. Thanks to our collaborative study in partnership with the Marine Institute and University College Cork, SolarMarine Energy Ltd are playing an important part in this developing industry.”
Dr Paul Leahy from the Science Foundation Ireland-backed MaREI research centre at University College Cork, said: “Our collaboration with SolarMarine Energy has been very successful and we would like to continue working with the company on a follow-up demonstrator project. A ﬂoating solar array prototype located near UCC’s Beaufort Building in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, would allow SolarMarine and UCC to capitalise on the design work undertaken under the Marine Institute funded project, and bring the SolarMarine ﬂoating solar concept closer to market.”
Dr Niall McDonough, director of policy, research & innovation at the Marine Institute said: “Supporting new marine renewable energy solutions is a strategic priority for Ireland to meet the targets of the Climate Action Plan 2019. Through our competitive funding programme, the Marine Institute provides grants to companies in Ireland to undertake research and to develop innovative concepts, prototypes, solutions and business models. This kind of support is essential to boost ocean business and to enable the transition to a climate-neutral blue economy.”