Secretary Chu tours Wavebob, a leading wave power technology company in Ireland that is partnering with the United States to harness the clean, inexhaustible energy potential of America’s coastal areas. Pictured is a prototype wave energy device, which at full scale would be 22 meters across and 50 meters tall, producing up to 1.5 megawatts of electricity per unit.
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Secretary Chu and Daniel Rooney, the United States Ambassador to Ireland – as well as the former owner of the mighty Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ambassador briefed Secretary Chu about Ireland's ambitions toward renewable energy - a goal of 40 percent by 2020.
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Secretary Chu visits Eirgrid, the Transmission Systems Operator for Ireland and Northern Ireland. Eirgrid is responsible for maintaining the reliability of the grid as Ireland moves toward its aggressive targets for renewables, almost all of which is from intermittent wind power. By 2020, Ireland plans to get 37 percent of electricity over the course of a year from wind (the remaining 3 percent coming from hydro). This is one of the most aggressive targets for wind power anywhere in Europe, putting the nation on the leading edge of figuring out how to accommodate large percentages of wind power.
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Secretary Chu exits Leinster House, where he met with the Taoiseach (or Prime Minister) of Ireland, Brian Cowen, about working together to develop clean, renewable and carbon free sources of energy. This is the same building where in June 1963, President Kennedy addressed a joint sitting of both Houses of the Irish Oireactas, and presented the Civil War battle flag of the brave "Fighting Irish" 69th Brigade of the New York State Volunteers, which still hangs on proud display here.