The technologies to harness wave and tidal energies to produce electricity are at an early stage of research globally. An extensive research and development programme must be successful before this significant potential resource can be efficiently harnessed and the most suitable sites identified. Ireland participates in the International Energy Agency's research and development implementing agreement on ocean energy to monitor and benefit from worldwide expertise. In addition, at the national level, Sustainable Energy Ireland, SEI, and the Marine Institute have jointly commenced a research and development programme to identify the potential of wave and tidal energy in Ireland and also to assist industry to investigate prototype devices.
Research projects under way include Tidal and Marine Current Energy Resource in Ireland, a study on the potential economic benefits from the development of ocean energy in Ireland and a study to establish the total, feasible, practical Irish offshore wave energy resource. Other research supported by SEI and the Marine Institute in recent years include Marine Institute — Development and Evaluation Protocol for Ireland in 2004, the Hydam Technology Limited design study support to finalise the mathematical model of the MWP in 2004, University College Dublin's tidal energy feasibility study in 2004, the ESBI's Inshore Atlantic Wave Regime: County Clare in 2003, Ocean Energy's B2D2 wave energy pilot plant in 2003 and Wavebob Limited's The Wavebob in 2004. It is anticipated that reports of these studies will be published in due course. I will continue to monitor progress to ensure that as the technologies develop, we are well placed to harness the significant wave and tidal resources.