IRELAND’S economy may be in the dumps, but it hasn’t upset its mission to adopt climate safe electricity sources, with an Australian wave energy developer yesterday securing a key deal. Shares in the Perth-based Carnegie Wave Energy yesterday rose 0.3¢, or 35%, to 9¢, after it signed a formal collaboration deal with Ireland’s national energy authority to jointly develop wave energy projects at various locations. The three-year deal appoints Carnegie Corporation as a developer for Ireland’s ocean energy program.

It is a big step towards commercial testing and roll out of Carnegie Corporation’s technology which uniquely uses buoys tethered to seabed pumps to create pressure to power hydroelectric turbines onshore, creating zero emission electricity. Ireland has set a national target to produce a third of its electricity from renewable or limitless power sources such as the sun, wind and waves by 2020, much higher than Australia’s 20% target. Unlike Australia’s target, Ireland’s renewable energy target includes a specific target for ocean energy, which will deliver 75MWs of power from the ocean to its grid by 2012 and 500MW by 2020.

Carnegie Corporation chief executive Michael Ottaviano said the Irish Government had “clearly signalled” wave energy was on its radar with grant and tariff incentives and aggressive targets. He said the Australian Government needed to decide if it wanted Australia to be a developer and supplier of emerging clean-energy technologies, and benefit economically from owning the intellectual property, or to merely buy in products from offshore. “That is the fundamental question for our government to answer, because it’s not clear at the moment. Until you’ve answered that question, it’s difficult to set the policy response”, Dr Ottaviano said.

Source: FFG Gippsland.