ESB WestWave, the company behind a massive wave energy project off the Clare coast, has been awarded €23 million by the European Commission.
The European Commission today awarded €1 billion funding to 19 projects in 12 EU Member States to fight climate change under the NER 300 funding programme. The NER300 is funded from the sale of emission allowances in the EU Emissions Trading System. ESB WestWave is the only Irish project to receive funding under this scheme.
ESB WestWave will develop the first wave energy project in Ireland by 2018 in Co. Clare, generating an initial 5MW – equivalent to the electricity consumption of households in nearby Kilrush and Kilkee – of clean renewable electricity from the plentiful wave energy resource available off the west coast of Ireland.
John McSweeney, Head of Innovation, ESB commented, “Ireland’s oceans have the potential to provide large quantities of indigenous, renewable energy and reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels. Demonstration projects like ESB WestWave are critical if we are to realise the ultimate aim of progressing to larger commercial scale projects and a low carbon future. The funding award announced today is a huge boost to the ESB Westwave project and to Ocean Energy development in Ireland and Europe.”
The funding mechanism, the so-called NER 300 funding programme makes the polluters the driving force behind developing new low-carbon initiatives.
The funding will be used to demonstrate technologies that will subsequently help to scale-up production from renewable energy sources across the EU as well as those that can remove and store carbon emissions. The projects awarded co-financing today cover a range of technologies − bioenergy, concentrated solar power, geothermal power, photovoltaics, wind power, ocean energy, smart grids and, for the first time, carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, said: “With these first-of-a-kind projects, we will help protect the climate and make Europe less energy dependant. The €1 billion we are awarding today will leverage some additional €900 million of private investment. So almost €2 billion of investment in climate-friendly technologies here in Europe. This is a contribution to reduce Europe’s energy bill of more than €1 billion per day that we pay for our imported fossil fuels.”