The work will focus on the use of tidal power at Strangford Lough and the north Antrim coast, ocean energy sites off western Scotland, and the potential for wave and tidal power generation in Donegal in the Republic of Ireland.
The Bryden Centre at Queen’s University in Belfast will also host cross-border studies into bio and marine-based power.
Working with Scotland’s University of Highlands and Islands, Ulster University, Donegal County Council and Dumfries and Galloway Council, among others, the project will create the largest amount of cross-border research in this area to date.
It will recruit 34 doctoral students and six post-doctoral research associates to produce relevant research with the potential to produce strong commercial benefit.
Match-funding for the project has been provided by the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation in the Republic.
As well as tidal power, it will also focus on renewables such as bio-energy, specifically heat, biogas and electricity which can be produced through the anaerobic digestion of agri-food waste.
The results are intended to help small and medium-sized businesses to become more innovative within the renewable energy sector.
Gina McIntyre, Chief Executive of the Special EU Programmes Body, which manages the EU’s Interreg Programme, added: “The region has a low level of industry-relevant research and innovation within the renewable energy sector.”
26 July 2017