Irish wave energy company gets backing from ESB

DUBLIN Thu Oct 15, 2009 9:23pm IST

DUBLIN Oct 15 (Reuters) - Irish-owned company Wavebob received a boost on Thursday when the country's Electricity Supply Board (ESB) utility signed a deal to help develop its wave energy converter technology.

About 100 companies worldwide are vying for a share of a market that The World Energy Council estimates could potentially provide about 10 percent of world electricity consumption. [ID:nLS254204]

Wavebob says its design -- a buoy structure that absorbs energy -- is the first such Irish device and one of only a small number worldwide to harness ocean wave energy and produce electricity. Thursday's deal will see the international arm of Ireland's former monopoly electricity company provide engineering services for the design of Wavebob's first grid-connected device which is scheduled to be installed in Portugal in 2011.

"This agreement fits with ESB's strategic commitment to the development of a wave and tidal energy industry in Ireland that will support the economy through the development of new green jobs," Michael McNicholas, ESB International's executive director said in a statement.

Ireland's government, which includes junior coalition partners the Green Party, signed a revised programme for government last week which included a commitment to create 120,000 "green collar" jobs over the next few years.

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; Editing by Keiron Henderson )

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