Introduce yourself and the organisation. What is your role and focus area?
I'm Róisín, I'm the COO and Co-Founder at GKinetic Energy. I handle the sales, marketing, business development and fundraising for the company.
Why did you choose to work in the marine industry?
In the marine industry, there's a huge potential there. We’ve got an energy crisis, and there's a massive untapped potential - 3,000GW of tidal potential, 200GW of small-scale free-flowing water potential - there's an obvious business case there. Then on the personal side, I have a sailing background so I spend a lot of time on the water myself, so it makes a nice connection.
What is your organisation’s unique selling point? Are you developing any new products or innovations?
GKinetic has developed a range of patented hydrokinetic turbines. Basically, they're turbines that work in free-flowing water. We've designed our first 12KW product to be really similar to a boat or a barge. You literally just drop it into the water and it will instantly generate power. It's just on an anchor, a mooring, and the whole idea is that it's super-flexible, really quick to deploy, and an instant source of clean, predictable energy.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for your company as part of Ireland’s marine industry in the coming 5-10 years?
We're at a really exciting phase with the company now. We've come along a long development journey of 7/8 years. We've deployed a number of units. So, we've been really strategic and, I suppose, risk-orientated in how we've deployed the tech. Right now the phase that we're at is commercial pilots, so it's a really, really exciting time.
What we see as our biggest connection to how we want to work that into the marine industry in Ireland is keeping pilots and showcases of the units working here in Ireland, keeping our headquarters here.
Then, really growing out the operations and the training for as we roll these out, because Ireland isn't actually the market for the product. It's quite a small-scale product. It's ideally suited to displace diesel generators. So it's more for offshore markets, developing regions, but we would love to keep the training and the sales, and that kind of high-tech R&D development in-house here in Ireland.
What is the biggest challenge, in your opinion, facing businesses like GKinetic in the marine industry today?
I can only speak for ourselves, personally, I can't speak for the industry as a whole. But for us, definitely, we're quite a small, lean team. Our product is quite small. In terms of the outputs, it’s a couple of kilowatts. For us, the regulatory process, by far, is the biggest barrier. We have successfully gotten planning, gotten deployments done but the biggest part of it is, undoubtedly, the planning and the permitting. It just takes a very long time.
In terms of actually building the machines and deploying them, we can do that in 2-3 months. So the main work is the policy work and the regulatory work.
Is there anything you would like to share with the network?
As I said, we're at an exciting phase, we're just starting to line up commercial pilot projects. So, the key thing for the network, which we found really helpful - and thanks to everyone who has pulled the MIIN network together - is partnerships. We're looking for manufacturing partners, distribution partners, people who can help us with growing the project with the regulatory side, the financing side... So, quite broad, but if you want to visit us at www.gkinetic.com , all our latest news is there and please feel free to reach out.
Where can we find more information about GKinetic Energy Ltd?
If you are interested in taking part in the #MIINMemberSpotlight and would like to feature in this series, please email MIIN@bluewisemarine.ie