Writing in the Irish Times, Thomas C Foley claims that the marine energy industry could help Ireland meet 20% of its alternative energy coals and create 10,000 high-value jobs.

He noted that unlike in the geothermal, solar, nuclear or hydropower areas, Ireland has a lead in the global race to become a top power in the marine energy sector.

The country’s high latitude, extensive coastline and position in the Atlantic all give Ireland an advantage, claims the ambassador.

However, he adds that unless the advantages presented by circumstance are used, they will be lost and other countries will lead the way.

He praised the government for hosting an ocean energy conference at Galway’s Marine Institute recently.

“These efforts attract developers and create the potential for Ireland to create an ocean energy technology cluster – an important first step toward establishing a sustainable competitive advantage in an infant industry,” wrote Mr Foley.

“Other good moves include the commitment of significant Government funding and Government policies that provide incentives to the marketplace to accelerate commercial development.

“But despite these good policy actions, progress toward a commercial scale installation, an important development goal, has been slow.”

Earlier this year Ireland also launched a Euro 26m initiative to develop marine energy research facilities.

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