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Displaying items by tag: Offshore Renewable Energy

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan opened the first Offshore Facilitation Forum in Dublin on Thursday (29 June), where he underlined the vital role of ports in delivering the Government’s targets of 5GW of offshore wind energy by 2030.

The minister also stressed the importance of developers and ports engaging in meaningful commercial discussions in order to underpin the commercial viability of the significant investments required.

Opening the forum, Minister Ryan acknowledged the work by Government to set Ireland on the path into a new sustainable future of renewable energy.

“We need to accelerate the important mission of delivering offshore wind energy in Ireland over the coming decade at a scale and scope that we perhaps haven’t seen since the electrification of the country,” he said. “I am very encouraged to see that our ambition as a nation is being supported enthusiastically by ports and developers.

“We have already had our first successful offshore wind auction and we are already making plans for phases two and three. We are about to launch MARA, the specialised Maritime Area Regulatory Authority, which will play a central role in the new streamlined consenting system for the maritime area. It is vital that robust and supported port ORE infrastructure plans move at the same ambitious pace.

“It is now vital that robust port ORE infrastructure plans move at the same ambitious pace, supported by developer engagement and commitment. These plans are critical to demonstrating not just the technical and commercial viability of our ports, but also to support them in their applications for funding, to secure financial investment, as well as facilitating the progression of port projects through required consenting and planning processes.

“Developers now play a key role in supporting ports to accelerate the development of robust and evidence-based project plans.”

The Offshore Facilitation Forum was attended by developers who recently took part in the Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS 1) auction and ports that are progressing plans to facilitate ORE, along with the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO), Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), European Investment Bank (EIB), Wind Energy Ireland, Marine Renewables Industry Association and officials from a number of departments in the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce.

The purpose of the forum is to bring the port companies, developers, financing bodies and Governmental departments together, to update on the breadth of work undertaken across the Government system to facilitate ORE development, as well as highlight the opportunities available to ports and developers. The forum provides for further engagement and exchange across key stakeholders at a critical juncture of ORE implementation and project development.

The Department of Transport says continues its support to assist ports and developers in the delivery of robust ORE infrastructure projects.

Published in Power From the Sea

Minsters have welcomed the €11 million in co-funding for transport projects in Ireland under the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) which will support two port-related schemes.

As reported earlier on, Irish Rail will receive €2.5 million for studies in respect of the potential to develop facilities at Rosslare Europort to support offshore renewable energy (ORE) operators in the Irish and Celtic Seas.

Doyle Shipping Group will also receive €2.5 million for its own studies informing the consideration of the redevelopment and expansion of the existing port facilities in Cork, with a view to supporting the deployment of ORE.

Welcoming the announcement on Thursday (22 June), Transport Minister Eamon Ryan said: “This funding will support the development of safer and more sustainable transport infrastructure as well as the development of the offshore renewable energy industry in Ireland.”

Minister of State Jack Chambers added: “I want to thank the EU for this support. This CEF funding will assist in developing strategic road, rail and maritime infrastructure for the future. It demonstrates the significant financial support from the EU for the development of our transport systems.”

Speaking about the Irish CEF project selection, European Commissioner for Transport Adina Valean said: “Ports have an essential role to play in the future sustainable EU transport system. This is why the CEF program already supports and will continue to support them.

“I am pleased that with this selection under the Connecting Europe Facility, we are able to assist the ports of Cork and Rosslare in their infrastructure developments and to contribute to their green transition efforts by developing offshore wind energy projects.”

Published in Power From the Sea

Supporting the accelerated growth of the fixed offshore renewable energy (ORE) sector is a key component of the Port of Cork Masterplan 2050, which was launched on Friday (19 May) by Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Finance Minister Michael McGrath.

The Port of Cork Company Masterplan (read the executive summary HERE) outlines its plans and ambitions over the next three decades and provides an integrated framework for the port to strategically plan and adapt to meet the needs of Ireland’s future social, economic and environmental development.

It includes plans to support the green energy sector and a roadmap outlining the port’s ‘River to Sea’ journey, consolidating all activities in the lower harbour by 2050.

Minister Ryan, who is also Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications, said: “I am delighted to be on site today to be guided through the Masterplan and to see first-hand the world-class facilities that are already in place at the Port of Cork.

“Cork Harbour is one of the largest natural harbours in the world. It has been a working port for centuries and is one of Ireland’s major employment hubs. The Port of Cork Masterplan offers a strategic blueprint towards the future, with the facilitation of fixed Offshore Renewable Energy as a central part of the plan, with full planning permission already in place to provide essential onshore infrastructure resources.

“I also welcome the port's ambitions to achieve a 51% reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, reaching NetZero emissions by 2050, in accordance with the government’s Climate Action Plan 2023. This new plan is definitely charting a course to a new sustainable and secure future for the port.”

Eoin McGettigan, chief executive officer at the Port of Cork Company said: “Historically, the Port of Cork has been an energy hub for the region by facilitating the import of fuels such as coal, oil, timber and land-based wind turbines.

“As we make the necessary move away from fossil fuel consumption, the Port of Cork will continue to play a key role in facilitating the future energy needs of the country as a hub for renewable fuels, transition fuels and offshore energy streams.“”

McGettigan added: “The Port of Cork is a commercial port and to ensure its ongoing competitiveness, we must adapt to the rapidly changing customer expectations which are pressuring the shipping industry to deliver goods in a faster, more flexible, and sustainable manner at low delivery cost. To do this, we must provide our customers with reliable, safe, high-performing facilities and services, and be an efficient link in the logistics chain.

“Despite this commercial ambition, we are extremely aware of our heritage and the role we play in our local community. As we endeavour to meet changing demands, the well-being of the people of Cork and its environment will continue to be embedded in our values, and be reflected in every decision we make.”

Published in Port of Cork

Offshore and onshore renewable energy is one of six themes due to be addressed at the third National Climate Stakeholder Forum (NCSF) in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium today (Wed, May 10).

The event, which will be opened via an online address by Minister for Environment and Climate Eamon Ryan, will be chaired by ESRI director Prof Alan Barrett.

Almost 200 stakeholders and policymakers will explore “challenges and opportunities” presented by the transition to carbon neutrality during a one-day workshop.

The National Dialogue on Climate Action (NDCA) is a central pillar of the NDCA and takes the form of a one-day workshop. Today’s event will bring together nearly 200 stakeholders and policymakers – to explore the challenges and opportunities presented by the transition to carbon neutrality.

Break-out sessions will deal with “six delivery taskforces”, including offshore and onshore renewable energy; citizen engagement and climate literacy; heat and built environment; land-use review; just transition; and sustainable mobility policy.

“The National Climate Stakeholder Forum is a vital way to bring policymakers, State agencies, regulatory bodies, representative groups, and community and voluntary groups together – from across Ireland to discuss our national approach to climate action,” Ryan said.

“It is about identifying the most pressing challenges to our goal of achieving carbon neutrality, and putting forward the creative and practical solutions to address them to will ensure that no community and no place is left behind,” he said.

“We have to address the climate challenge together. No one group has the solution. No one group is better, or worse, at climate action than another. This is not about blaming or shaming, but working collectively,” Ryan said.

Prof Barrett, who chaired the first National Climate Stakeholder Forum last year, said the third forum was being held at “a crucial time for Ireland, as we look to accelerate the delivery of our response to climate change – through the latest Climate Action Plan 2023”.

The day’s results will form a short report, setting out pathways to the delivery of climate actions for consideration by policymakers.

“This, in turn, will inform the next Climate Action Plan,” Ryan’s department said.

Published in Power From the Sea

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, has welcomed Cabinet approval for plans to accelerate the delivery of 5GW of offshore wind by 2030. 

The Policy Statement on the Framework for Phase Two Offshore Wind will be published later this week. It outlines how the first auction for offshore wind under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS 2) will launch by the end of 2023, following a public consultation on draft auction terms and conditions in mid-2023.

The first auction relates to the delivery of offshore wind capacity on the south coast of Ireland, geographically aligned with available onshore grid capacity. This auction, and all subsequent Phase Two auctions, will result in the development of offshore wind capacity within ‘Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE) Designated Areas’.

These Areas, which will be designated according to legislative provisions for Designated Maritime Area Plans (DMAPs) in the Maritime Area Planning (MAP) Act, will guide investment and decision-making and will complement the forthcoming network of Marine Protected Areas. This plan-led approach will ensure that development is managed in a planned, strategic and sustainable way. Importantly, it will provide greater certainty for all maritime users as to where development will be situated.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TDMinister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD

Welcoming the publication of the Policy Statement, Minister Ryan said:  “This is a critical step on Ireland’s journey towards maximising our offshore wind energy capacity and eventually eradicating our dependence on imported fossil fuels. It will put us on a direct path to zero CO2 emissions, while at the same time creating jobs, future-proofing our businesses, and improving our quality of life. It will also mean cleaner, more secure, home-grown energy for our householders and businesses, particularly when it is abundant.

“The approach we have chosen streamlines the development process for offshore renewable energy by optimising the consenting, planning and grid development resources of the State. It represents the best opportunity to meet our ambitious 2030 climate and energy targets, while at the same time bolstering our security of supply. It will also provide additional certainty for investment in Ireland’s offshore renewables sector due to enhanced project delivery prospects.”

Offshore Wind Energy Programme

Today, Minister Ryan also announced the publication of the key actions for 2023 under the Offshore Wind Energy Programme, the system-wide plan developed by the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce.

The Taskforce was established by Minister Ryan to capture the wider and longer-term economic and business opportunities associated with the development of offshore renewables in Ireland. The Taskforce brings together work ongoing across Government, agencies and industry to deliver on Ireland’s offshore wind ambitions. The actions highlighted for delivery in 2023 include measures relating to supply chain, ports, policy, skills and workforce, and regulatory consenting.


In addition, Minister Ryan has today confirmed that the maximum offer price for ORESS 1 will be €150/MWh. This follows on from Government approval in November 2022 of the terms and conditions of ORESS 1, the decision by the Single Electricity Market Committee (SEMC) in January 2023 on Firm Access Methodology, and the decision of the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU) earlier this month on Offshore Grid Connection Asset Treatment Decision.

It should be noted that the maximum offer price is an auction design safeguard only, and that it is the role of the competition ratio, to be independently determined by the CRU, to drive a competitive result in ORESS 1. Ultimately, this will ensure value for money for consumers. The Minister reserves the right to reject offers, including those not in excess of the maximum offer price.

The Policy Statement on the Framework for Phase Two Offshore Wind, and further details on the Offshore Wind Energy Programme, will be published in the coming days

Published in Power From the Sea

The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, has launched a public consultation on the draft second Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP II).

This plan sets out Ireland’s strategy for the future of offshore renewable energy in Ireland. The plan focuses on ensuring we identify the best locations for the right renewable technologies to generate benefits from the extensive potential we have for generating renewable energy from our seas.

The draft OREDP II outlines the proposed criteria to identify these optimal areas – known as Broad Areas of Interest – which will ensure that we plan to use the right technologies in the right places. Broad Areas of Interest are large areas of the Irish maritime space that have been identified as technically suitable for future offshore renewable energy development through the OREDP II assessment.

Welcoming the publication of the draft OREDP II, Minister Ryan said:

“Ireland’s wind, waves and tides offer huge, clean, sustainable sources of offshore renewable energy. To harness this energy for the benefit of all, we need to ensure we put the right offshore technologies in the right places.

“The Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP II) is one of the key building blocks being progressed now by Government to deliver on our ambition to develop 2GW green hydrogen and at least 30GW floating energy beyond 2030.

“I encourage all, particularly those in coastal and island communities, to participate in the consultation events online or in person. The maritime area is a shared space and we want to hear from all those with an interest in our seas. How we plan for this development will be important to ensure benefits are delivered for everyone.”

The Enduring Regime is our long-term vision for offshore renewable energy in Ireland. The State will ensure that the economic, environmental and social benefits of offshore renewable energy are realised for everyone. This includes choosing the right offshore technologies to use in the right places through the OREDP II. The OREDP II is one element of building the Enduring Regime, which also includes development of a Hydrogen Policy, Interconnector Policy and Economic Assessment.

Adopting a more strategic, plan-led approach will ensure that the economic, environmental and societal benefits of offshore renewable energy are realised for everyone, including:

  • Meeting our future energy demands;
  • Transforming our economy and industry;
  • Achieving net-zero carbon emissions;
  • Protecting our environment;
  • Sharing use of our seas.

Public Consultation

A public consultation for the draft OREDP II is now open for submissions until 20th April 2023 on

As part of the consultation process, a series of online, public outreach and in-person stakeholder workshop events will take place around coastal communities in Ireland over the coming weeks to raise awareness of the OREDP II. For the full list of events and registration details, visit Capacity is limited at stakeholder events and advance registration is required. Following the conclusion of the public consultation process and consideration of all submissions, the draft OREDP II will be finalised and published in the summer of 2023.

Phased delivery on our Climate Action Targets

The delivery of 5GW of offshore wind by 2030 will be delivered by two phases of projects:

  • Phase 1 – these projects were granted Maritime Area Consents in December 2022 by the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications and are now eligible to participate in the first Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme Auction (ORESS) and to engage with An Bord Pleanala.
  • Phase 2 – these projects will be required to plug the gap in delivering on the 5GW 2030 target. A Phase 2 Policy Statement will be published shortly setting out the eligibility criteria and timelines.
Published in Power From the Sea

Ireland and seven other members of the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) have agreed a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Britain on increased cooperation for the development of offshore renewable energy.

The agreement has been welcomed by Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan, who had identified it as a key priority during Ireland’s co-presidency of the NSEC in 2022.

It may lead to increased cooperation between Britain and the eight current member states of the NSEC and the European Commission, “bolstering energy security into the future for Ireland, Europe and the UK”,” Mr Ryan’s department said.

The agreement was signed for Britain by Graham Stuart MP, Minister of State for Energy and Climate.

Last September, the eight NSEC countries agreed to a target of at least 260GW of offshore wind energy by 2050, which will represent more than 85% of the EU-wide ambition of reaching at least 300GW by 2050.

This new MoU “recognises the important role for offshore renewables in reaching climate and clean energy targets and the need to cooperate on accelerating their future deployment”, Mr Ryan’s department said.

“The cooperation agreement aims to facilitate the planning and development of specific offshore renewable projects, including offshore grids,”it said.

“I welcome today’s milestone agreement, which I and our Irish team have been determined to achieve under the Irish co-presidency of the NSEC, and which builds upon the momentum of the landmark meeting and agreement we reached in Dublin,” Mr Ryan said.

“When it comes to realising the potential of offshore wind, it is best that we work in unity, that we transcend borders, that we set agreed targets, and then cooperate to achieve them,” he said.

“Working as a united Europe, we can ensure that we always have energy somewhere. That can be from the enormous potential of our North Atlantic and North Seas when it’s windy, from the south when it is sunny or from the hydro-capacity of the Alps in the centre of the continent,” he said.

“Through this cooperation, and by sharing and ensuring that we are always producing energy somewhere, we can look forward with some certainty to reducing our reliance on imported and expensive fossil fuels, and to delivering secure and affordable homegrown energy for European households and businesses,” he added.

Signatories of the MoU were: Minister Eamon Ryan (Ireland); Commissioner Kadri Simson (European Commission); Minister Graham Stuart (United Kingdom); Minister Tinne Van der Straeten (Belgium); Minister Lars Aagaard (Denmark); Director General Laurent Michel (France); State Secretary Sven Giegold (Germany); Minister Claude Turmes (Luxembourg); Minister Rob Jetten (Netherlands); and Minister Ebbe Busch (Sweden).

Published in Power From the Sea

The devastating invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin’s forces has focused minds on reducing energy dependence on Russia, with Ireland Inc gearing up to be the “Saudi Arabia” of offshore renewable.

However, the Government’s delay in setting up a liaison forum between the offshore renewable industry and a major stakeholder, the fishing industry, has opened it up to claims that it has set the two sectors on an avoidable “collision course”.

Fishing industry leader John Lynch and south-east vessel owner Caitlin Uí Aodha, who was the first female skipper to secure a BIM boatbuilding grant some decades ago, both voiced their concerns about this at a recent conference hosted by Simply Blue Energy at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Cork.

Apart from the impact on fishing grounds, there are also concerns about unknown environmental effects - a recent study found that the migratory path of brown crabs may be shifted irreversibly by the geomagnetic fields coming from turbine cables.

“We want to be green – but we simply don’t know enough,” Uí Aodha has said in an interview with Wavelengths below

Published in Wavelength Podcast

The Government is seeking a chair for a new seafood-offshore renewable energy working group.

Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien has invited applications from “suitably qualified candidates”, with a deadline of March 25th for applying.

O’Brien’s department says it is “working in conjunction with colleagues from the Departments of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; and Environment, Climate and Communications respectively” to establish a working group within the context of the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF).

Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue had acknowledged delays in setting up the group when he addressed the recent offshore renewable energy conference on marine skills and qualifications, hosted by Simply Blue Energy at the National Maritime College of Ireland in Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour.

The conference heard that the fishing industry and offshore renewable energy would be on a “collision course” unless action was taken to set up the stakeholder forum.

The new working group will “facilitate discussion on matters arising from the interaction of the seafood and offshore renewable energy industries, to promote and share best practice, and to encourage liaison with other sectors in the marine environment”, the Department of Housing says.

It says the chairperson will be responsible for “leadership of the working group and ensuring its effectiveness on all aspects of its role”.

It outlines the working group’s primary objectives as being :

  • To enable and establish a framework for constructive engagement through regular scheduled and responsive communications between the seafood and offshore renewable energy sectors.
  • To develop clear and defined Guidelines for interactions between the seafood and ORE industries with regard to ORE developments within the context of the NMPF.

It says that interested parties can submit their application to [email protected]

The deadline for receipt of applications is 4 pm on Friday, March 25th 2022.

More information on the background to the Seafood –ORE working group, the objectives of the group, and the role of the chairperson can be found here

Published in Marine Planning

Ireland‘s unique opportunity to help Europe reduce its dependence on Russian oil could be hampered by a severe skills shortage for developing offshore renewable energy, industry experts have warned.

And unless the Government moves quickly on establishing a stakeholder liaison group, offshore wind and the fishing industry are on a “collision course”, a conference at the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) was told.

Ireland can be a leading wind and wave energy supplier, but it will only capture just over 20 per cent of jobs required unless the Government co-ordinates specific training, Wind Energy Ireland chief executive Noel Cunniffe said.

Wind Energy Ireland chief executive Noel CunniffeWind Energy Ireland chief executive Noel Cunniffe

Cunniffe was speaking at the event hosted by Simply Blue Energy, on the theme of “Our Offshore Renewable Energy Opportunity – Is Ireland Ready” which dealt with maritime qualifications and certification.

His organisation, which represents the wind energy industry, has urged development of specialist marine apprenticeship schemes and a skills plan for renewable energy involving schools and universities, he told the conference at the NMCI hosted by Simply Blue Energy.

This was echoed by Dr Alan Power of the Government’s expert group on future skills needs, who said that marine careers are a “significant growth area”.

To meet the Government’s five GW target for offshore wind by 2030, a range of key occupations will be required including engineers, ecologists, marine biologists, hydrologists, and people with construction and technical skills, Power said.

Marine operators and ship crew, wind turbine technicians and experienced professions in transport and logistics will also be required, he said.

Marine renewable expert Prof Tony Lewis of University College Cork recalled a similar discussion on skills shortages in oil and gas 40 years ago when the Kinsale gas field was being developed.

Prof Tony Lewis of University College CorkProf Tony Lewis of University College Cork

“We missed that opportunity then,” he said, urging a coordinated approach with an “enterprise focus” to ensure Ireland could supply the required expertise without losing out to foreign companies.

Mark de Faoite of Údarás na Gaeltachta said renewable energy jobs could also help to sustain Gaeltacht areas, but a holistic approach to skills and training was required by all Government departments and agencies.

Mark de Faoite of Údarás na GaeltachtaMark de Faoite of Údarás na Gaeltachta

However, offshore wind and the fishing industry are on a “collision course”, with fears about the impact on fishing now greater than the impact of Brexit, John Lynch, chief executive of the Irish South and East Fish Producers’ Organisation said.

“There is no question that we do require renewable energy and it is a great opportunity,” Lynch said, but it had “got off to a bad start”.

He described how renewable energy companies came to meetings with fishers with “a presentation, a map” but with “pre-determined sites” in inshore coastal areas.

“We had no input into the position of those sites,” he said, and “co-existence would have been far easier” if there had been prior consultation.

Even if fishing was allowed near an offshore wind farm, the risk of snagging gear, accidental damage to equipment and the risk of prosecution over same would pose serious challenges and could cause insurance problems, Lynch explained.

Co Waterford vessel owner Caitlín Uí Aodha said “the hunters are being hunted off their grounds”.

“We want to be green, but we need you to understand fishing is not just a job, but a way of life, a tradition, a heritage,” Uí Aodha said, emphasising the need for seafood protein suppliers to survive.

“I am not convinced that those involved in this [renewable] industry are there to look after’re there to make money,” she told renewable energy representatives at the conference.

In his opening address, Minister for Marine Charlie McConalogue acknowledged delays in establishing an offshore renewable energy/seafood liaison forum, and recruitment was ongoing for a chairperson.

Attracta Uí Bhroin of the Irish Environmental Network identified delays in marine spatial planning by Government as being critical.

Ireland is required to extend its network of marine protected areas, but any attempt to co-locate offshore wind farms in protected areas cannot be a “box-ticking exercise” in relation to protected of the marine environment, she said.

Published in Power From the Sea
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Marine Wildlife Around Ireland One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with marine wildlife.  It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. As boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat.  Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!