2.7 ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
The energy consumption in Ireland is primarily achieved by the combustion of fossil fuels. As well as fossil fuels continually becoming more expensive and fluctuating in price, their use as an energy source also has a negative impact on the environment. Ireland’s energy consumption can be separated into three separate divisions: transportation, electricity generation and heat energy. The use of marine current energy technologies will assist in sustainable development as well as being a solution to several energy related environmental problems. Energy extraction using this technology offers a vast and predictable energy source. However, marine current energy technology is still not economically viable on a large scale, due to the current stage of development. This paper presents Ireland’s current energy requirements, future targets, drivers for the deployment of renewable energy technologies and potential marine current energy extraction sites. Cost estimates are also analysed and the leading marine current energy extraction devices are discussed.
O'Rourke, Fergal and Boyle, Fergal and Reynolds, Anthony: Marine Current Energy Status and Its Potential in Ireland. Poster Presentation for Energy Solutions Ireland, 2009.