Marine Institute set to make waves at Dublin Castle

Ireland's potential to harness ocean energy will be explored at the Marine Institute 10th Anniversary Conference - Taking marine research further – in Dublin Castle between 5th and 7th November.

A consultation document on the potential for development of wave energy in Ireland is due to be launched at the Marine Institute 10th Anniversary Conference. The document highlights the potential of Ireland to become a world-leading developer and manufacturer of technologies that will enable the harnessing of ocean waves. However, it recognises that this is a long-term prospect and that wave energy technology is not in a position to contribute to renewable energy targets in the Kyoto timeframe.

The consultation process which will be launched next week will run until February 2003 and aims to build a consensus around the strategic approach to Wave Energy development in Ireland. This is a joint initiative by the Marine Institute and Sustainable Energy Ireland and the ultimate aim is to support and inform the development of a National Ocean Strategy of which wave may be an important component.

The potential for renewable ocean energy will be explored at the Renewable Ocean Energy Forum on the first day of the Marine Institute conference, Tuesday 5th November.  Speakers will include Yvonne Shields, Director, Science, Technology & Innovation, Marine Institute and Katrina Polaski, Energy Economist, Sustainable Energy Ireland, together with experts in ocean energy from the UK and the Netherlands. 

As well as the topical issue of renewable energy, the conference will address a wide range of issues including sustainable fisheries and resource management, the impacts of global climate change, salmon management, sustainable aquaculture, marine leisure, marine environment and biodiversity, and marine biotechnology.  The aim of the conference is to review marine development over the last 10 years and identify challenges and priorities for the future to ensure the sustainable development of Ireland's Marine Resource.

The Conference marks the tenth anniversary of the setting up of the Marine Institute under the 1991 Marine Institute Act. Since then, the Institute has grown into an internationally respected marine science organisation with 150 staff at locations in Galway, Dublin and Newport. Forthcoming developments include the delivery of the second national research vessel Celtic Explorer later this year and the construction of the Institutes new headquarters and laboratory facilities at Oranmore, Co. Galway, due for completion in 2004.