Irish breakthrough tidal energy technology makes waves across European coastal communities

In Ireland, the Direct Drive Tidal Turbine (D2T2) project has made a breakthrough in a cutting-edge technology: tidal energy turbines. Tidal currents are a highly dependable source of renewable energy, precisely because they follow the predictable rise and fall of sea tides. Tidal energy turbines are placed on the seabed where the tidal flow is strong. When the turbines turn with the flow, they produce electricity.   

This Horizon 2020-funded project is making tidal energy a strong contender to push out fossil fuels. In 2016, the D2T2 project installed the world’s first offshore tidal device in Scotland. Their tidal device is more efficient, reducing the total costs of producing tidal energy by 30%. Moreover, D2T2’s technology is popular among communities because it has no detrimental environmental impact.  

 “There is a revolution in tidal energy technologies taking place right here in Europe. We are heading into the manufacturing phase including an order for 15 turbines in Canada. I envisage the roll-out of our technology to coastal European countries, South East Asia and Japan happening over the coming decade,” says Simon Forrest, CEO of Nova Innovation and D2T2 project coordinator. 

 Thanks to the project, tidal energy has already become part of the local economic ecosystem in the Shetland Islands, serving as an example for other regions as a dependable source of energy and job creation. 

This project is one of the 3 original energy initiatives competing at the EU Sustainable Energy Awards! In the Innovation category, the 3 shortlisted projects are making the sustainable energy transition a reality for communities all over Europe. 

Remote area Energy supply with Multiple Options for integrated hydrogen-based Technologies (REMOTE) is another finalist. The REMOTE project started in Italy, Greece and Norway – true to its name, in areas that face unique challenges when it comes to accessing and storing renewable energy. The project is rolling out its hydrogen and battery-based energy storage technology in test sites across Europe. While in Greece, green innovators support homeowners to make home renovations easy and efficient. The Individual Building Renovation Roadmaps (iBRoad) project supports single-family houses in setting-up personalised renovation plans to make smart financial and energy-efficient plans for renovations to improve their home over the next 5-30 years.  

Counting down to the EU Sustainable Energy Awards 

Every year the European Commission recognises the most outstanding individuals and projects for their innovation in the energy sector and renewables. This year, 9 finalists will compete in 3 award categories: Engagement, Innovation and Youth, and an additional category will recognise the achievements of Women in Energy. A special prize, the Eastern Partnership Award, will be given to an inspiring sustainable energy initiative in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova or Ukraine.   Starting in early June, people from all over Europe will have the chance to vote for the 2020 Citizens’ Award by selecting their favourite project from among the finalists. 

The Awards winners will be announced on 23 June during a live, online Awards ceremony. 


Meet the finalists! Dedicated webinars will take place in June for the media, providing a unique opportunity to hear from the finalists themselves and learn more about their innovative projects.  Register here to take part in the webinars. 

  • Award press talk: EUSEW finalists in category – Youth - REGISTER
  • Award press talk: EUSEW finalists in category – Engagement - REGISTER 
  • Award press talk: EUSEW finalists in category – Innovation - REGISTER 
  • EUSEW talk: Women in Energy - REGISTER 
  • EUSEW Award Q&A session for press - REGISTER 


D2T2 - Europe’s breakthrough technology in tidal energy - Ireland.pdf 162 KB


The Awards are part of EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW), which will take place from 22-26 June 2020. Organised by the European Commission, EUSEW is the biggest event dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use in Europe. This year, participants will take part in an online, interactive event experience under the theme: ‘Beyond the crisis: clean energy for green recovery and growth’.  The event will cover four elements across the EU: the Policy Conference, Youth Energy Day, EUSEW Awards, and the Energy Days. 

Media representatives will also be invited to follow the EUSEW programme including the Awards ceremony. Interested?

For more information on the EUSEW Awards.

About EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW)

Organised by the European Commission, EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) is the biggest annual event dedicated to renewables and efficient energy use in Europe. From 22-26 June 2020, participants will enjoy an online, interactive event experience under the theme: ‘Beyond the crisis: clean energy for green recovery and growth’. Highlights include a 3-day policy conference featuring a high-level opening session, debate with Ambassadors and EU Sustainable Energy Awards ceremony as well as matchmaking activities and virtual stands for participants. On 22 June, a European Youth Energy Day will also be organised, bringing together young people aged 18 and 30 years old to share on how to transform Europe into the first climate-neutral continentDiscussions will be complemented by Energy Days, digital events engaging local communities, taking place all over Europe in May and June.