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Dublin Port Company (DPC) has today launched a new water safety awareness campaign supported by Water Safety Ireland (WSI) to help promote the safe, responsible use of Dublin Bay for leisure and recreation this summer.

Both Dublin Port Company and Water Safety Ireland have observed an increase in the number of people enjoying water-based sports and activities in the surroundings of Dublin Bay and Dublin Port, many for the first time. Unfortunately, some have also found themselves in potentially dangerous situations on the water requiring the guidance of Dublin Port crews to keep them clear of the shipping lanes.

Dublin Port’s campaign is aimed at the growing number of leisure boat users on the water and also those venturing out for kayaking, paddle boarding, jet-skiing and sea-swimming with the arrival of warmer temperatures and continued easing of lockdown restrictions. 

Dublin Port’s new Water Safety Flyer(Above and below) Dublin Port’s new Water Safety Flyer

Supported by new radio, digital and social media advertising, the campaign’s message encourages anyone planning a trip on the water to “get their bearings – always think water safety”. The message is also reinforced outdoors on a billboard at the entrance to Dublin Port.

Dublin Port’s new Water Safety Flyer

Members of the city’s established boat and water sports clubs will already be very familiar with the dos and don’ts of crossing Dublin Bay, navigating the shipping lanes at Dublin Port or enjoying the River Liffey. However, DPC also recognises that many others taking to the water may not be aware of basic safety regulations and practices intended to keep everyone safe.

Dublin Port Harbour Master Captain Michael McKenna explains, “We have seen how quickly someone can get into a potentially dangerous situation on the water, such as being unaware that they have entered the shipping channel, passing too close to ships, not calling “VTS Dublin” on VHF Channel 12 for permission to cross, or not having a working VHF radio on board. It can be a very frightening and dangerous experience if you are not familiar with the water. We want to get the message out about the basic precautions that can help make every trip much safer.” 

As part of the campaign, DPC has created a starter’s guide to basic safety etiquette on the water, including a new map showing a simplified version of the shipping lanes at Dublin Port where permission to cross is mandatory for all leisure craft users. This information, and more, is available at

Dublin Port Harbour Master, Captain Michael McKenna, said; “Dublin Bay and the River Liffey are for everyone to enjoy. We want people to have fun on the water, but our number one priority is safety. We are encouraging people to always think water safety. More than 17,000 ship movements in and out of Dublin Port every year equates to almost 50 each day. There is a huge variety in the size and type of ships sharing the water with the city’s boat and yacht communities, sailing groups and sports clubs. Everyone, but especially those who are new or inexperienced, can take some simple safety precautions to help keep themselves, and everyone else on the water, safe.”

John Leech, Chief Executive Officer, Water Safety Ireland, said; “It is everyone’s responsibility to take a proactive approach to personal safety on the water, whether that’s on the waters of Dublin Bay and Port, or further afield. This summer, as people take advantage of the many beautiful coastal areas on offer, the advice has never been more relevant.

Take the time to inform yourself of the basic safety measures you can take. Having that understanding and awareness creates confidence on the water. We know from experience that you are more likely to protect yourself and others when you are aware of the risks involved, and how to avoid them in the first place.”

Jet Skis and Personal Watercraft (PWC)

Jet ski and PWC users are reminded to adhere to the 6 knots speed limit when within 60 m of a pier, jetty, slipway, mooring, shore or another vessel and 120 m of a swimmer or dive flag. Freestyling is not permitted within 200m of swimmers, or the shoreline.

Published in Dublin Bay
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Former Dublin Bay Sailing Club Class Captain Gavan Murphy took a first and two second places in Saturday's three DBSC Laser races.

Racing for the dinghy classes was held in Scotsman's Bay in an eight to ten-knot warm southerly breeze.

There was another excellent turnout of 135 boats across all classes.

A top three results summary is below  

DBSC Results for 10/07/2021

Race 1

Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Prima Forte, 2. Wow

Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. Wow, 2. Prima Forte

Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. Bon Exemple, 2. White Mischief, 3. Jalapeno

Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. Indecision, 2. Jump the Gun, 3. Bon Exemple

Cruiser 1 J109: 1. White Mischief, 2. Jalapeno, 3. Something Else

31.7 One Design: 1. Prospect, 2. Kernach, 3. Levante

31.7 Echo: 1. Kernach, 2. Bluefin Two, 3. Levante

Cruiser 2 IRC: 1. Windjammer, 2. Leeuwin, 3. Rupert

Cruiser 2 Echo: 1. Leeuwin, 2. Springer, 3. Rupert

Cruiser 2 Sigma 33: 1. Leeuwin, 2. Rupert, 3. Springer

Cruiser 3 IRC: 1. Starlet, 2. Krypton, 3. Maranda

Cruiser 3 Echo: 1. Saki, 2. Krypton, 3. Papytoo

Cruiser 4 NS-IRC: 1. Boomerang, 2. RunAway

Cruiser 4 Echo: 1. Boomerang, 2. RunAway

Cruiser 5 NS-IRC: 1. Playtime, 2. Prima Luce, 3. Persistance

Cruiser 5 Echo: 1. Playtime, 2. Just Jasmin, 3. Sweet Martini

SB20: 1. So Blue, 2. Ted, 3. Carpe Diem

Dragon: 1. ZinZan, 2. D-cision

Ruffian: 1. Ruffles, 2. Bandit, 3. Ripples

Shipman: 1. Invader, 2. Viking, 3. Poppy

Glen: 1. GlenDun, 2. Glenluce, 3. Glencree

PY Class: 1. B & C O'Neill, 2. Sarah Dwyer, 3. Stephen Oram

IDRA 14: 1. Dart, 2. Doody, 3. Dunmoanin

Laser Standard: 1. Gavan Murphy, 2. Theo Lyttle, 3. Robbie Walker

Laser Radial: 1. Sean Craig, 2. Marco Sorgassi, 3. Oisin Hughes

Race 2

SB20: 1. Ted, 2. So Blue, 3. Carpe Diem

Flying 15: 1. Enfant de Marie, 2. Ignis Caput II, 3. Fflagella

Sportsboat VPRS: 1. Jambiya, 2. Jheetah

Sportsboat: 1. Jambiya, 2. Ram Jam, 3. Jheetah

Dragon: 1. ZinZan, 2. D-cision

Ruffian: 1. Ruffles, 2. Ripples, 3. Bandit

B211 One Design: 1. Chinook, 2. Small Wonder, 3. Billy Whizz

B211 Echo: 1. Small Wonder, 2. Billy Whizz, 3. Vamoose

Squib/MermaidPY: 1. Lively Lady, 2. Jill, 3. Aideen

PY Class: 1. Stephen Oram, 2. Richard Tate, 3. Sarah Dwyer

IDRA 14: 1. Dunmoanin, 2. Doody, 3. Dart

Fireball: 1. Owen Sinnott, 2. Paul ter Horst

Laser Standard: 1. Robbie Walker, 2. Gavan Murphy, 3. Conor Roche

Laser Radial: 1. Sean Craig, 2. Hugh O'Connor, 3. Oisin Hughes

Race 3

PY Class: 1. Stephen Oram, 2. Richard Tate, 3. Sarah Dwyer

IDRA 14: 1. Dart, 2. Doody, 3. Dunmoanin

Fireball: 1. Owen Sinnott, 2. Paul ter Horst

Laser Standard: 1. Theo Lyttle, 2. Gavan Murphy, 3. Peter Foster

Laser Radial: 1. Sean Craig, 2. Marco Sorgassi, 3. David Cahill

Published in DBSC
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A massive total of 140 boats raced on Dublin Bay tonight in a light south-easterly tonight, by far the largest Thursday evening DBSC turnout for many years.

The Cruisers Zero IRC race was won by Paul O'Higgins in the JPK 10.80 Rockabill VI from the First 40.7 Prima Luce (Patrick Burke). 

Cruisers One IRC was won by John Maybury's Joker II from John Hall's Something Else.

Cruiser 2 IRC:  was won by the J/97 Windjammer (Lindsay Casey) from Conor Ronan's Corby 26 Ruthless 

The 31.7s were won by Chris Johnston's Prospect with Michael Blaney's After You Too second.

Full results below

DBSC Results for 08/07/2021

Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Rockabill VI, 2. Prima Forte, 3. D-Tox

Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. D-Tox, 2. Prima Forte, 3. Rockabill VI

Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. Joker II, 2. Something Else, 3. Jalapeno

Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. Joker II, 2. Dear Prudence, 3. Something Else

Cruiser 1 J109: 1. Joker II, 2. Something Else, 3. Jalapeno

31.7 One Design: 1. Prospect, 2. After You Too, 3. Attitude

31.7 Echo: 1. Kernach, 2. Attitude, 3. Kalamar

Cruiser 2 IRC: 1. Windjammer, 2. Ruthless, 3. Rupert

Cruiser 2 Echo: 1. Ruthless, 2. Windjammer, 3. Rupert

Cruiser 2 Sigma 33: 1. Rupert, 2. Gwili II, 3. Springer

Cruiser 3 IRC: 1. Cartoon, 2. Starlet, 3. Krypton

Cruiser 3 Echo: 1. Cartoon, 2. Pamafe, 3. Krypton

Cruiser 4 NS-IRC: 1. Boomerang, 2. Antix

Cruiser 4 Echo: 1. Boomerang, 2. Antix

Cruiser 5A NS-IRC: 1. Playtime, 2. Prima Luce, 3. Edenpark

Cruiser 5A Echo: 1. Just Jasmin, 2. Edenpark, 3. Playtime

Cruiser 5B Echo: 1. Fortitudine, 2. Gung Ho, 3. Emma

SB20: 1. So Blue, 2. Ted, 3. Carpe Diem

Flying 15: 1. Shane MacCarthy, 2. ffantastic mr ffox, 3. FFuZZy

Sportsboat VPRS: 1. Joyride, 2. Jheetah, 3. Jeorge V

Sportsboat: 1. Joyride, 2. Jeorge V, 3. Jester

Dragon: 1. D-cision

Ruffian: 1. Shannagh, 2. Carmen, 3. Ruffles

Shipman: 1. Twocan, 2. Invader, 3. Poppy

B211 One Design: 1. Small Wonder, 2. Billy Whizz, 3. Isolde

B211 Echo: 1. Small Wonder, 2. Billy Whizz, 3. Isolde

Glen: 1. Glenluce, 2. GlenDun, 3. Glencoe

Squib/Mermaid PY: 1. Allsorts, 2. Jill, 3. Lively Lady

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Fresh from their return from last week's Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race, both Rockabill VI (Paul O'Higgins) and Juggerknot II (Andrew Algeo), both from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, won their respective cruiser divisions in last night's DBSC Thursday night race. 

There was a great turnout of 129 boats across all DBSC classes for racing on a fluky Dublin Bay.

In the J109 division, yet another RIYC yacht, White Mischief (Richard and Tim Goodbody), was the class winner.  

Full results across all classes in the AIB-sponsored Summer Series are below. 

DBSC Results for 17/06/2021

Cruiser 0 IRC: 1. Rockabill VI, 2. Tsunami, 3. D-Tox

Cruiser 0 Echo: 1. D-Tox, 2. Tsunami, 3. Lively Lady

Cruiser 1 IRC: 1. Juggerknot 2, 2. Bon Exemple, 3. White Mischief

Cruiser 1 Echo: 1. Juggerknot 2, 2. Black Velvet, 3. Bon Exemple

Cruiser 1 J109: 1. White Mischief, 2. Chimaera, 3. Dear Prudence

31.7 One Design: 1. After You Too, 2. Attitude, 3. Bluefin Two

31.7 Echo: 1. Kalamar, 2. Fiddly Bits, 3. Bluefin Two

Cruiser 2 IRC: 1. Windjammer, 2. Ruthless, 3. Springer

Cruiser 2 Echo: 1. Gwili II, 2. Boojum, 3. Springer

Cruiser 2 Sigma 33: 1. Gwili II, 2. Boojum, 3. Springer

Cruiser 3 IRC: 1. Maranda, 2. Starlet, 3. Eleint

Cruiser 3 Echo: 1. Maranda, 2. Grasshopper 2, 3. Wynward

Cruiser 4 NS-IRC: 1. Boomerang, 2. RunAway

Cruiser 4 Echo: 1. Boomerang, 2. Antix, 3. RunAway

Cruiser 5A NS-IRC: 1. Playtime, 2. Persistance, 3. The Great Escape,

Cruiser 5A Echo: 1. Witzend, 2. Playtime, 3. Katienua

Cruiser 5B Echo: 1. Sweet Martini, 2. Gung Ho, 3. Fortitudine

SB20: 1. Ted, 2. So Blue, 3.

Flying 15: 1. Hera, 2. Flyer, 3. Thingamabob

Sportsboat VPRS: 1. Jester, 2. Jitterbug

Sportsboat: 1. Jester, 2. Jitterbug, 3. George 2

Ruffian: 1. Shannagh, 2. Bandit, 3. Ruffles

Shipman: 1. Curraglass, 2. Poppy, 3. Twocan

B211 One Design: 1. Chinook, 2. Isolde, 3. Billy Whizz

B211 Echo: 1. Isolde, 2. Chinook, 3. Billy Whizz

Glen: 1. GlenDun, 2. Glencree, 3. Glencoe

Squib/Mermaid PY: 1=. Lively Lady, 1=. Allsorts, 3. Jill

Published in DBSC
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Tuesday night marks the start of a week-long tribute to long-standing Dublin Bay Sailing Club member Carmel Winkelmann who passed away on Saturday, 12th June. 

DBSC Flag Officers are preparing for a minute's silence on all boats in the fleet before racing commences on each race day this week.

There will be an additional sound signal made five minutes before the first warning signal for the first class each day. The DBSC burgee will be dipped and a minute's silence will be observed in Carmel's honour. 

DBSC Committee Boat MacLir displaying an RIP tribute to the late Carmel Winkelmann prior to Tuesday, June 15th's racingDBSC Committee Boat MacLir (above) and Freebird (below) displaying an RIP tribute to the late Carmel Winkelmann prior to Tuesday, June 15th's racing

Freebird DBSC

As Afloat repeated earlier, Carmel was an active member of DBSC and also gave a huge commitment to Dublin Bay sailing in general.

Due to the Government restrictions, a family funeral will take a place privately at 10 am on Friday (June 18th).

As a mark of respect, the funeral cortège will be passing the yacht clubs along the Dun Laoghaire Harbour waterfront on Friday morning at 9 am.

Funeral notice here

Published in DBSC

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderick O’Gorman helped by Olivia Eaton (age 8) and her sister Sadbh (age 5) have launched the new launch Dublin Bay Biosphere Award on Portmarnock Beach.

The new three-part programme was developed by Scouting Ireland and the Dublin Bay Biosphere Partnership.

Children who successfully complete the programme will earn a badge which can be sewn onto scout uniforms, school bags or clothing in recognition of their efforts to protect local wildlife.

Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderick O’Gorman helped by local Portmarnock Scout Rohan Belgan (age 14) on Portmarnock BeachMinister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, Roderick O’Gorman helped by local Portmarnock Scout Rohan Belgan (age 14) on Portmarnock Beach

The Dublin Bay Biosphere covers an area of over 300km2, from Howth to Killiney, with over 300,000 people living within its boundaries.

Biospheres are recognised for their internationally important wildlife, but are also places to be shared by people and nature.

The Dublin Bay Biosphere Award is a call to all young people to ‘get outside, explore, learn, and take action to protect our biosphere’. For details on the Award scheme go here

Published in Dublin Bay
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Dublin Bay Sailing Club Commodore Ann Kirwan rounded off a successful DBSC Race Training Mini-Series yesterday before racing commences after Bank Holiday Monday from next Tuesday, June 8th.

The well-attended series, running since May 16th - in line with COVID guidelines -  presented a great opportunity for boats and crews and race personnel to prepare for the summer racing season as lockdown eases. 

Next week the AIB DBSC Racing season begins in earnest where the country's biggest yacht racing club welcomes back training participants along with the rest of the membership to the following schedule.

DBSC Weekly Racing Programme

  • Tuesdays: Keelboats – From Committee Vessel
  • Tuesdays: Dinghies – Harbour sailing
  • Wednesdays: Water Wags – Harbour sailing
  • Thursdays: Keelboats – Committee Boat starts
  • Saturdays: Keelboats – Committee Boat starts
  • Saturdays: Dinghies – Harbour sailing

Meanwhile, the last week of the training series ran as follows: 

Tuesday dinghies - RO Barbara Conway aboard DBSC committee vessel Freebird ran one training race in light winds inside the harbour. 9 PYs and 22 Lasers over 2 starts.

Wednesday Water Wags - RO Harry Gallagher aboard DBSC committee vessel MacLir ran 2 training races in light winds inside the harbour for a full complement of training Wags.

Two Water Wag training races in light winds were held inside the harbourTwo Water Wag training races in light winds were held inside the harbour

Thursday keelboats - RO Jack Roy aboard committee vessel Freebird headed outside the harbour to survey the conditions and reported gusts of over 30 knots and a big swell in a strong southerly wind. Jack (Red Fleet) and Barry MacNeaney (Blue Fleet) decided to cancel race training for all classes.

Saturday saw the last day of DBSC’s Race Training mini-series.

RO Barry MacNeaney aboard MacLir ran race training for the Blue Fleet of 36 boats with Cr 0 - 2, Cr1 - 7, B31.7s - 7, Cr2 - 3, Cr3 - 7, Cr 4&5 - 7, Shipman - 3, Glen - 0.

RO Barry O’Neill aboard Freebird ran 2 training races for the 34 Green Fleet boats with SB20s - 5, FFs - 13, Sportsboats & Dragons - 3, Ruffian - 5, B211 - 7, Squibs & Mermaids - 1.

RO Suzanne McGarry aboard committee vessel Spirit of the Irish ran race training for the Dinghies (2 races) with 19 boats - PYs - 5, Lasers 14 over 2 starts.

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After a long break due to COVID, recreational diving is back on Dublin Bay and divers were out over the past two weekends at Dalkey Island and other popular bay sites.

A class of open water students got back into the water after a long break for a snorkel.

Local boat bives are also now fully operational in Dublin Bay again with regular departures to favourite dive sites around Scotmans Bay, Dalkey Island and the Muglins Beacon.

The Ocean Divers 'Ocean Enterprise' RIB takes divers out into Dublin Bay from Dun LaoghaireThe Ocean Divers 'Ocean Enterprise' RIB takes divers out into Dublin Bay from Dun Laoghaire

Ocean divers, a dive firm that operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour, says on social media, it is now running snorkel and boat trips over the next couple of weeks as the 2021 season reopens.

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The many months of Lockdown in its various forms have prevented the Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association from physically holding their regular monthly winter meetings at Poolbeg Yacht & Boat Club in Dublin Port. Each of these friendly gatherings – with specialist speakers on a wide variety of maritime topics - traditionally raised substantial sums for Howth Lifeboat through the simple and relatively painless expedient of the attendees on arrival dropping a minimum of €5 into an RNLI yellow welly on a table by the door.

The pandemic shutdowns might have stopped this intensely personal programme in any form, were some ordinary body involved. But the DBOGSA are made of sterner stuff. And as we've commented before on, the more die-hard of a traditionalist any sailing enthusiast might be, the more he or she seems to be comfortably on top of modern communications.

Thus with tech whizzes like Mark Sweetnam and the current DBOGA Hon Sec/Treas Darryl Hughes on the job, the DBOGA smoothly transformed its monthly winter gatherings into an eclectic series of online Zoom talk/discussions – many of them previewed in - which continued the lifeboat fund-raising as part of the online process, and provided the bonus of an edited version of the monthly show appearing on YouTube, usually within 24 hours.

A long-established and friendly relationship: the Howth 17s come to visit the Old Gaffers Association during their Golden Jubilee Celebrations at the Poolbeg Y & BC in 2013. Photo: W M Nixon   A long-established and friendly relationship: the Howth 17s come to visit the Old Gaffers Association during their Golden Jubilee Celebrations at the Poolbeg Y & BC in 2013. Photo: W M Nixon

Now that the light of lockdown-lifting is on the horizon, it is time to take stock, and Johnny Wedick, President of the DBOGA, has received an appreciative letter from Rose Michael, leader of the Howth RNLI Fund Raising Crew, with the news that the DBOGA "Lockdown Lolly" has reached €7,571, and there's probably more in the pipeline.

As it is, it's a tidy sum. So when the DBOGA hold their annual Cruise-in-Company to Howth in August - by which time it's hoped proper freedom of movement will have arrived – there'll be one of those slightly wacky ceremonies where the Old Gaffers hand the Howth RNLI an enormous cardboard cheque with the final amount inscribed thereon. Upon which, everyone will doubtless then spring to the mainbrace, and great will be the splicing thereof.

Dublin Bay Old Gaffers raise €7,571 online for Howth Lifebo
Published in Dublin Bay Old Gaffers

DBSC Thursday night training is cancelled for all fleets this evening on Dublin Bay due to current weather conditions and the forecast for further strong southerly winds.

Three training fleets were in operation as over 90 boats from the Dun Laoghaire Harbour waterfront clubs turned out for the first training session last Saturday, as Afloat reported here.

DBSC is running the mini-series this month in order for crews and DBSC race management teams to train and to get ready for the racing season on June 7 as sailing is now considered a safe, non-contact sport with no material difference between training and competition re COVID-19.

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Page 5 of 100

Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.


The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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