Ireland emerging as a significant location for investors in the exciting and rapidly developing Clean Technology sector
Ireland stands to be a green living capital for the world!!
Outstanding natural resources, an advanced electricity grid and the presence of the world’s leading companies make Ireland the leading location for Green / Clean Technologies.
Heck, as shown below even Guiness is getting awards in Ireland for going green.
Ireland is poised on the edge of Europe with some of the best wind and ocean resources in the world. These natural resources and Irelands unique human capital are being harnessed to deliver the country’s renewable energy targets, by 2020 Ireland will have:
- · 40% electricity from renewable sources
- · 500MW ocean energy
- · 10% electric vehicles
Integrating such a high proportion of renewable electricity while placing new demands (EV’s) into Irelands relatively small island electricity grid and maintaining stable reliable supply represents an enormous challenge and opportunity.
For over 40 years IDA Ireland has attracted leading global companies to Ireland in Life Sciences (Pharmaceuticals & Medical Devices), ICT (Software & Hardware), Internet, Engineering and Financial Services. IDA Ireland is now working with the key stakeholders, to harness the energy potential and business expertise across all business sectors and academia to develop a strong Clean Technology industry in Ireland. The highly educated and motivated workforce that has been built up in other sectors will be a terrific asset for Ireland and companies located there as industries evolve out of the convergence of existing sectors and energy.
IDA spokesperson: George Bennett, Manager, Cleantech Division, IDA
Examples of Expertise in Ireland
March 2010, saw the establishment of IBM’s first Smarter Cities Technologies Centre in Dublin, with an investment of up to € 66m over three years. IBM will build a highly skilled and cross-disciplinary team to help cities around the world better understand, interconnect and manage their core communication, water and energy.
Researchers at the new Centre will investigate how advanced analytics and visualisation techniques coupled with solutions such as cloud, stream, and high performance computing, can help city authorities make optimal use of resources and so meet the challenges of our increasingly urbanised world, Dr. Katherine Frase, Vice President, Industry Solutions and Emerging Business at IBM Research
Intel and IBM’s Smart Bay Initiative
IBM, Intel, a number of Irish SME’s and the Marine Institute are working on the Smart Bay project, which aims to link surface and underwater sensors and networks to enable environmental research, in the Galway Bay area, off the west coast of Ireland. The Smart Bay initiative, aims to establish a greater understanding into marine ecosystems and date will be used for new oil and gas explorations, advance information on coastal flooding, storm surges and rising sea levels.
United Technologies Research Centre
United Technologies Corporation is the 17th largest manufacturer in the US and is a global provider of high technology products and services to the building systems and aerospace. 2010 saw UTRC establish a unique energy and security research centre in Ireland, a research Centre based on two main themes, energy and security systems.
UTRC Spokesperson: Dr. Parekh, Vice President, United Technologies Research Centre.
Green International Financial Services Centre
The Green IFSC will be launched this March and aims to make Dublin’s IFSC (International Financial Services Centre) a hub for green businesses to set up shop in Ireland. The initiative aims to attract green businesses to Ireland, as well as companies that finance them and those involved in the carbon reduction area. With its low corporation tax rate, Ireland is well positioned to become a leading player in the global carbon market and the Green IFSC will identify Ireland as a centre of excellence in the management of carbon. Speaking in January 2010, a spokesperson for IFSC Banking and Treasury Group said the most ambitious view of the project would be to replicate the IFSC in a five-year time scale. This would signal the creation of about 25,000 new jobs, with companies operating in the green hub making tax contributions of circa €11bn annually.
Vattenfall and Wavebob Ltd
We are responding to the massive opportunity that Ireland has. Because the country has such a vast natural energy resource, and as the technology becomes proven, and the Government policy and supports take effect, Ireland really can be the ‘Texas of Europe’ exporting large quantities of green electricity.
Harvey Appelbe, Project Director for Tonn Energy
In 2009, Vattenfall, one of Europe’s largest electrical utilities, in recognising the urgent need to cut global greenhouse gas emissions selected Ireland for an exciting initiative to develop ocean wave energy into a viable, clean and valuable new energy source in Ireland’s renewable energy portfolio.
Tonn Energy, a joint venture between Vattenfall and Wavebob, an Irish wave farm development firm, has been formed to carry out this programme of work. In the long term this could position Ireland as a net exporter of green energy, utilising its massive natural ocean wave resource, and could hold significant benefits for the West of Ireland through subsequent investment and employment.
ENERCON, one of the largest manufacturers of wind turbines in the world, established a technical services operation in Tralee, Co. Kerry, creating 30 new technical and management positions over the next 2 years. This strategy is supported by the Irish Government through IDA Ireland.
ENERCON, founded in 1984 in Aurich, Germany, is the world’s leading supplier of direct driven wind turbines with 330kW to 7.5MW rated power and produces its own rotor blades, generators, towers and other components for its turbines.
Examples of Irish Companies
ESB is Ireland’s dominant electricity utility and is one of the key players in the development and support of a range of new technologies and initiatives:
- · Electric Vehicles –
- · Smart Metering
NTR plc is one of Ireland’s most successful Cleantech companies and are growing rapidly. NTR builds and runs green energy and resource-sustaining businesses including Stirling Energy Systems who in conjunction with sister company Tessera Solar produces the sterling engine powered SunCatcher concentrating solar system. Another NTR portfolio company is Green Plains Renewable Energy which is a vertically integrated, low-cost ethanol producer and an emerging leader within the bio fuels industry.
Open Hydro – design and manufacture marine turbines for generating renewable energy from tidal streams. The first company to deploy a tidal turbine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) and the first company to connect to and generate electricity from tidal streams onto the UK National Grid and also the first to successfully demonstrate a method of safely and economically deploying turbines directly from the seabed. In April 2009, Open Hydro announced that it had secured a major contract to develop a tidal energy pilot project for the Snohomish County Public Utility District (SnoPUD) in Washington State, USA. The company was awarded the 2009 company pioneer award at the Energy Ocean conference in Maine in the US.
Solarprint – an Irish company developing new ways of caturing solar energy to power everything from laptops to mobile phones. Founded by Dr. Mazar Bari, who created semi-liquid solar cell material that is easy to work with and cheap to produce, creating solar panals that can be integrated into everyday household goods, drawing on sunlight to recharge batteries without the need for a power supply.
Relevant Research Centres
More impressive than the numbers and leading foreign companies with operations in Ireland is the collaborative ecosystem in which they work together with the SME’s and academic research institutes.
Information Technology Optimised Building Operation (ITOBO) is a Strategic Research Cluster funded by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). The group has a number of industry partners including Cylon, Intel and HSG Zander.
The Electricity Research Centre (ERC) is industry-university research collaboration with research driven by the energy industry worldwide and a particular emphasis on the Irish electricity sector and the significant penetration of renewable (wind) onto the Irish grid. The ERC is primarily based in Electrical Engineering at University College Dublin (UCD).
International Energy Research Centre (IERC) was announced in April 2009 and is to be an industry lead research centre funding by the Irish Government. Collaborative research will be undertaken into integrated energy solutions defined by the member companies. Examples of the issues with integrated energy systems are, real time control of complex energy systems, stability of renewable-intense grid systems, advanced diagnostics and prognostics, man/machine interface to energy systems, understanding of market, technology and policy interactions.