NUI Galway has announced the first project under its’ new Global Challenges programme. The theme of the first project is set on exploring the potential that developing tidal energy can bring.
The Project is titled “TIDAL-GES” and describes itself as “exploring solutions for Tidal Energy” and is under the strand of decarbonisation of the Global Challenges Project.
“TIDAL-GES” is in fact an acronym that stands for “Good Environmental Status” in coastal and marine waters” as well as a “transition to affordable and clean energy.”
This affordable and clean energy would in theory enhance the health and resilience of communities, wildlife and the environment. The project will also aim to engage with multiple stakeholders, including those living on the coast to unlock the benefits for them in the project’s key goal to decarbonise the economy, through a team of researchers across multiple disciplines alongside these multiple stakeholders.
The project will be led by Professor Jamie Goggins from NUI Galway’s Ryan Insitute & School of Engineering, focusing on developing the next generation of tidal energy alongside senior researchers from the university’s Sustainable and Resilient Structures Group.
“Just transition is crucial in the work towards decarbonisation,” said Professor Goggins of the project. “So too is the importance placed on biodiversity and how we enhance the health of resilience of our ocean and costal communities. Our aim is to create a blueprint to simultaneous achieve these ambitions.”
Dr Stephen Nash from the NUI Galway School of Engineering will lead the work on-site modelling for tidal energy and assessing climate change and its impact on the site, alongside extreme events for devices for tidal energy, with a senior research fellow from the School of Engineering Dr William Finnegan leading the work on tidal turbine blade development.
Director of the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit Professor Stephen Hynes and Dr Thomas Van Rensburg from the NUI Galway School of Business and Economics will be joint leaders on the economical appraisal of tidal energy and the investigation of society’s attitudes to tidal energy.
Dr Gesche Kindermann, a lecturer from NUI Galway’s School of Natural Science will lead stakeholder related work and will examine how tidal energy developers, local authorities and local communities of potential commercial tidal energy sites can work together to decarbonise the local economy, while also working together to deliver improved habitat and landscape conservation management.
Dr Anne Marie Power, Senior Lecturer in Zoology from NUI Galway’s School of Natural Sciences will lead the work on developing systems to quantify the interactions of tidal energy devices with wildlife. Her section is supported by fellow Senior lecturer from the School of Natural Science, Dr Colin Lawton.
The Global Challenges programme was first launched alongside the university’s Research and Innovation Strategy for 2021 to 2026 last October. It focuses on six key strands-antimicrobial resistance, decarbonisation(under which the Tidal Energy project falls), democracy, food security, food-centered data and ocean and coastal health.