American Ambassador visits the Marine Institute for joint workshop on Ocean Energy


US Ambassador Tom C. Foley 

The American Ambassador, Mr Thomas C. Foley visited the Marine Institute’s headquarters and laboratory facilities at Oranmore, Co. Galway, yesterday (Thursday 17 July), for a joint workshop between Irish and US companies and organizations in the Ocean Energy sector.  

 “The U.S. is just as concerned about and actively seeking solutions to climate change as the EU” said Mr. Foley. ”The only viable long term solutions will come from technologies that make us more efficient consumers of fossil fuels, and expand old or create new sources of non-fossil fuel based energy”.

Dr. Peter Heffernan, CEO of the Marine Institute welcomed Mr. Foley to the Institute. “Research into the effects of climate change is one of the most important work programmes being undertaken by the Marine Institute.” said Dr. Heffernan.

The Institute liaises closely with academic institutions, state agencies, trans-national research groups as well as the renewable energy sector in the development of policy and the targeting of strategic investment. These projects are all part of the national programme Sea Change – A Marine Knowledge, Research and Innovation Strategy for Ireland 2007-2013, which is being co-ordinated by the Institute.

A National Strategy for Ocean Energy was developed in 2003 to support the introduction of Ocean Energy to the Renewables ‘portfolio’ in Ireland and develop an Irish ocean energy industry sector. This has now been reinforced in the Programme for Government and the Energy White Paper through a commitment to fund the development of the Ocean Energy sector for a three year period.

An Ocean Energy Development Unit has been established under the aegis of the Department of Energy, with the support of the Marine Institute and Sustainable Energy Ireland to guide the development of the sector.

“I am so pleased to be here and am so interested in Ocean Energy opportunities in Ireland.  I think there is a once in a generation opportunity here to take advantage of an exceptional opportunity that all the money in the world and brilliant policy making couldn’t create on their own.  I want to see Ireland succeed with this opportunity.  I think the U.S. can help Ireland succeed, and benefit itself, too” said Mr. Foley.