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This weekend's Irish Laser Masters National Championships on Dublin Bay have been cancelled in the light of looming Level 3 COVID restrictions for the capital this weekend. It is the second time the event has been affected by Coronavirus.

The last-minute cancellation was issued to competitors this afternoon as the Irish Laser Class Association came to terms with 'the very challenging and uncertain times'. 

As Afloat reported earlier, despite the host club making use of its Virtual Race Office for competitors and observing all social distance guidelines, it was decided not to proceed with the single-handed event.

In a communication to competitors this afternoon via Whatsapp, DBSC Laser Class Captain and Laser Masters Nationals Event Chairperson, Gavan Murphy told competitors:  ‘Folks, regrettably, we have to cancel the Laser Masters Nationals. Although Irish Sailing and the Royal St. George Yacht Club gave us their full backing and support to proceed with the event, the Irish Laser Class Association no longer feel it is prudent to proceed due to recent COVID-19 developments and a potential travel ban in Dublin. We apologise for the last-minute nature of this change, however, as I’m sure you’ll all appreciate, we’re operating in very challenging and uncertain times. The Irish Laser Class Association will refund you all in due course. Hope to see you all on the water again very soon’.

The Royal St George Yacht Club event was one of the first to reschedule in the wake of coronavirus restrictions earlier this year and, unfortunately, it is again one of the first to have to cancel ahead of new measures expected to be implemented this weekend in the capital.

In other news, the Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are now available for the Laser Munster Championships scheduled to take place on the weekend of 3-4 October at Kinsale Yacht Club.

Other 2020 Irish Laser fixture dates are: 

  • Laser CONNAUGHT Championships 17th/18th October, LDYC
  • Laser LEINSTER Championships 31st Nov/1st Oct, HYC
Published in Laser
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Several Dun Laoghaire Harbour sailing events scheduled for Dublin Bay this weekend are awaiting Government guidance as Level 3 Covid-19 pandemic restrictions loom for the capital.

Four events planned for the Bay may need to be reconfigured – or even cancelled – if the Government moves as expected to tighten restrictions for Dublin city and county.

The Government wording says "No matches or events to take place" under level 3 but there are exemptions for professional/elite/inter-county/club championships. Some sailing event organisers are hoping that sailing fixures will be seen as 'closed-door' events like horse racing that has an exemption.

The Royal St. George Yacht Club is preparing to host the CH Marine sponsored Laser dinghy Masters Championships.

The National Yacht Club is preparing to host a Flying Fifteen East Coast Championships,

Dublin Bay Sailing Club is scheduled to run its regular weekend racing for a local fleet on Saturday afternoon.

The Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club is to host its annual Kish Race on Sunday morning.

A Cruisers Class Three Championships will also take place on the Bay.

A Department of Sport notice issued this morning has advised national governing bodies to make no comment in advance of it seeking clarification on a number of points surrounding the staging of events in a Level 3 environment. 

Looking further ahead, Level 3 could spell trouble for any autumn regional sailing events that prevent Dublin sailors travelling outside the county.

Published in News Update
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With entries close to 35 boats, the annual DMYC Kish Race has been made all the more interesting with some of top ISORA boats now entered for this Sunday's Race on Dublin Bay

ISORA coastal regulars such as the Royal Irish's new Prima Forte, a Beneteau First 40, plus the Royal St. George's J97 Windjammer, the National Yacht Club's Sunfast 3600 and the Dun Laoghaire Marina based First 310, More Mischief are all now entered.

The organisers have acceded to a request from Cruiser 3 Class Captain, Kevin Byrne, that the results from the race be used for part of the Cruiser 3 Annual Championships which also takes place this week.

The Grzegorz Kalinecki skippered First 310 More MischiefThe Grzegorz Kalinecki skippered First 310, More Mischief

The Cruiser 3 Class will use a combination of their Saturday DBSC results and the Kish Race results to decide the 2020 Champion. 

The Committee is also very grateful to Larry Power (NYC) who kindly agreed to be PRO assisted by regular Club Stalwarts, Brian Mulkeen and Rodney Beste. The Race begins at 1030 hrs from the normal DBSC "HUT" starting area, and the Finish will be between the East and West Pier Lighthouses (for any spectators with an Interest!).

In a change from last year's format, the Committee has elected to have three separate starts, One for Cruisers 0/1; another for Cruisers 2/3 and Shipmans and finally a start for Cruisers 5 and Ruffians.

The club has also elected to award Prizes not only to the Overall Winner ( the magnificent "Kish Trophy") but also to the winners of each Cruiser Class, Shipmans and Ruffians.

John O'Gorman's Sunfast 3600 'Hot Cookie' from the National Yacht ClubJohn O'Gorman's Sunfast 3600 'Hot Cookie' from the National Yacht Club

John O'Gorman's "Hot Cookie" will no doubt cut a dash in Cruiser 0/1 along with former DMYC Commodore Leslie Parnell in "Black Velvet" along with "Prima Luce".

No doubt the Ruffians and Shipmans will have battle "Royale" given the List of keen Helms including Gerry Glynn, Brendan Duffy, Michael Cutliffe and many others.

The regular inhabitants of the 55-year-old Kish Lighthouse (Cormorants and Herring Gulls in the main) are in for some disturbance this Sunday!

The DMYC have confirmed that they are extending the Entry Deadline up to 7 pm on Saturday 19th of September.  You can enter here

The Kish Race 2020 entrants so far are as follows:

Kish Race entries

Published in DMYC
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It's only 160 km by road but the passage north from Dublin Bay for the twelve Cruising Association of Ireland crews who set out for Belfast Lough was a great deal more. With stopovers in Carlingford Lough and Ardglass on the way to Bangor and Belfast, those sailors who persisted in what turned out to be mostly disappointing weather conditions were rewarded with a warm welcome in all the marinas visited. It has been three years since the fleet came North and new members were welcomed to the CAI fold.

Led by Commodore Vincent Lundy in Timballoo, the 14-boat fleet mustered at Malahide Yacht Club where they were treated to a Barbecue hosted by Commodore Dan Flavin and his wife Therese. From there, aided by CAI Secretary John Leahy's regular forecast maps, some of which were so highly coloured there could be no mistake about what they told, two left for Carlingford – John McInerney's Nos na Gaoithe and Noel Lappin's Rhiannon. The rest had a lay day.

Friday saw the rest of the fleet head for Carlingford Lough and for those winds were generally NNE and 12 knots with a sloppy sea but relief came when the turn to port at the Hellyhunter Buoy off Cranfield Point brought some sunshine and calm seas. The destination was the marina on the County Louth shore, in that beautiful fiord like lough, where they enjoyed an evening meal.

Cruising Association of Ireland yachts arrive in Carlingford Lough during the cruise from Malahide to Belfast LoughCruising Association of Ireland yachts arrive in Carlingford Lough during the cruise from Malahide to Belfast Lough

Early morning at Carlingford MarinaEarly morning at Carlingford Marina

The next stop was the fishing town of Ardglass on the south Down coast. With the dire forecast of Storm Ellen for the end of the week, three chose the discretion option and planned to head back to Dublin Bay. After Ardglass it was on North to Belfast Lough.

Early morning at Ardglass Marina. The only marina between Carlingford and Bangor, Ardglass Marina is one of the safest small harbours on the east coast of Ireland thanks to its two breakwaters and dArdglass Marina is the only marina between Carlingford and Bangor. It is one of the safest small harbours on the east coast of Ireland thanks to its two breakwaters and deep water.Cruising Association members at Ardglass are (from left) Clifford Brown, John McInerney and Gerry Dunne

By Wednesday seven of the fleet were tucked up in Bangor – Timballoo, Rhapsody, Rhiannon, Aldebaran, Seod na Farraige, Nos Na Gaoithe and Enigma (John Murphy had the shortest passage having come from his home port of Carrickfergus on the opposite shore). There was plenty of room for Nanuq owned by Pat McCormick, Commodore of Carlingford Yacht Club and Simon Parker's Asile in the sparsely populated Belfast Harbour Marina with surely the most stunning backdrop in Titanic Belfast. And another northern member, David Meeke was in Bangor without his boat, having picked an unfortunate time to antifoul in Carrick! 

Stunning backdrop of the Titanic in BelfastThe stunning backdrop of the Titanic Belfast

Royal Ulster Yacht Club was the venue for the end of cruise dinner where on Wednesday evening the gathering assembled, suitably socially distanced, with Vice Commodore Alan Espey welcoming the crews.

Commodore Vincent Lundy reflected on the event." It is very difficult to organise any event which complies with COVID 19 regulations. The CAI is very particular to the point that they applied a high degree of Health and Safety over and above the recommended guidelines. The majority of CAI crews are family groups and we were able to put in place an alternative short cruise to replace the original planned for the West Coast of Scotland. At each of the main stops in Malahide, Carlingford and Bangor, the reception was welcoming and friendly. This was a worthwhile effort".

Published in Cruising

For the second weekend running in August, anglers on the south shore of Dublin Bay have been taking a bountiful supply of mackerel on feathers, especially on the southern tip of the Bay at Dalkey Island where shoals of sprat on which the mackerel feed are plentiful.

Anglers are positioning themselves on the backs of both Dun Laoghaire Harbours East and West piers and also at Dalkey on the rocky outcrops at Coliemore Harbour, Bulloch Harbour and Killiney Bay.

There is also a fleet of small sea angling boats out on the Bay, primarily all using feather rigs and enjoying great catches.

A good catch of Mackerel on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatA good catch of Mackerel from Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

Published in Angling

Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association invites you to join their next Zoom session on Historic Dublin Bay Gaff Rigged Vessels from Maritime Paintings and Photographs, which will be given by Cormac Lowth on Thursday 16th July.

Dublin’s leading maritime historian Cormac Lowth has assembled a fine collection of 19th and early 20th century paintings and photographs showcasing the gaff and square-rigged vessels that graced Dublin Bay. These images include fishing boats, of which there were a great many based in Ringsend, together with cargo vessels - including schooners, brigantines and ketches - and of course sailing yachts, both cruising and racing. The wide variety of these gaff-rigged working and pleasure vessels provided interesting subject matter for Dublin’s artists and photographers during the second half of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century. With his extensive knowledge of Dublin’s maritime past Cormac will guide us through this unique collection of images which will interest sailors, historians, painters, photographers and anyone fascinated by Dublin’s maritime past.

Cormac’s session will start at 19.30, but you are requested to join the Zoom meeting at 19.00 for general chat before the Q&A session. Joining early will also ensure that any connection issues can be sorted out well before 19.30.

The details of this Zoom meeting are:

  • Topic: Historic Dublin Bay Gaff Rigged Vessels from Maritime Paintings and Photographs • Time: Thursday, July 16th 2020, at 19.00
  • Link to join the meetng: hOps://us02web.zoom.us/j/85751800759
  • Meetng ID: 857 5180 0759

This is all the information you need to join the meeting - there will be no additional details required or provided on the day of the session, and you do not need a password to join.

If you join the Zoom meeting by clicking the link above, you will not need the Meeting ID, which is only required if you want to join the session through other means

Published in Dublin Bay

Tuesday evening Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) dinghy racing got off to a great start in Dun Laoghaire Harbour tonight with a bumper Laser fleet competing.

As Laser Class Captain Gavan Murphy predicted on Afloat a fortnight ago, there was a super turn out of single-handers for the first race of the COVID delayed season. 

The 50-boat Laser fleet enjoyed ten-knot southerly winds for the in harbour racing run from DBSC's Freebird Committee Boat.

Also racing were RS Aeros, Fireballs and PY dinghies.

DBSC Laser Racing at Dun Laoghaire HarbourPart of the 65-strong DBSC Laser fleet

DBSC Results for 30/06/2020

All results Provisional & Subject to Review

Race 1

PY Class: 1. B Sweeney, 2. N Butler, 3. B Foley

Fireball: 1. F Miller, 2. 14865, 3. N Miller

Laser Standard: 1. R Wallace, 2. D Maloney, 3. R O'Leary

Laser Radial: 1. M Norman, 2. R Geraghty-McDonnell, 3. K O'Connor

Laser 4.7: 1. A Daly, 2. C Byrne, 3. H Turvey

Race 2

PY Class: 1. B Sweeney, 2. N Butler, 3. B Foley

Fireball: 1. F Miller, 2. C Power/M Barry, 3. 14865

Laser Standard: 1. R Wallace, 2. R O'Leary, 3. G O'Hare

Laser Radial: 1. P O'Reilly, 2. K O'Connor, 3. R Geraghty-McDonnell

Laser 4.7: 1. A Daly, 2. E Dempsey, 3. Z Hall

 

Published in DBSC

During a “COVID 19” garage clean out recently, a box of unclaimed prizes was found for the Irish Dragon keelboat class.

These, according to the inscriptions thereon, were to be awarded at the prize-giving for the East Coast Dragon Championships 1985 to the 3rd, 5th and 6th places overall. Apparently, as 1st, 2nd and 4th were presented, there was no one there to receive the others. In fact, no one has any idea how they came to be.

After some debate, it was decided to try and find who the recipients might have been.

By delving through the Dragon Class records, the Dublin Bay Dragon Fleet Captain’s Report Season 1985 revealed the following relevant information:- “Congratulations to the East Coast Dragon Championships winner Conor Doyle and his crew in Alphida and runner-up Alan Crosbie and his crew in Isolde. Other placings were 3rd John Kidney (Hikari), 4th Gerry Owens (Titan), 5th Peter & Susan Gray (Andromeda) and 6th Dan O’Connor (Leprechaun).

It was then decided to arrange a belated prize giving, albeit 35 years late, for the rediscovered prizes. This took place in accordance with COVID 19 protocol on Thursday 25th June.

Prizes were presented by the owner of the garage in question, former Dragon ace Michael Cotter.

Published in Dragon
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Some offshore racing enthusiasts may have been hoping that the historic re-enactment of the “Kingstown to Queenstown" Race of 1860 – the first proper offshore event in Irish and British waters – might still have been staged in some very muted form, with minimal shoreside interaction in order to comply with post-COVID-19 restrictions. But those directly involved have now made a clear decision that to do so would be entirely at variance with the spirit of the race, which is to be a celebration of offshore racing both in Ireland and internationally, with a highly sociable shore-side element in Cobh after the finish.

The leading race organiser at the Cobh finish, South Coast Offshore Racing Association Commodore Johanna Murphy, has issued an informal statement outlining the thinking behind the way things will go, as plans take shape to stage the race in 2022:

“The Kingstown to Queenstown Race is postponing to 7/7/22 in light of COVID-19. The race is being run by Cove Sailing Club and the National Yacht Club, and will start from the NYC and finish at the Old Yacht Club (now the Sirius Centre) in Cobh. After the finish, there’ll be festivities on the Cobh waterfront, including of course a talk on the history of the iconic race by the one and only Eddie English. The prize-giving will follow, and I will be organising a barbecue in the Quays, while now that CSC marina is up and running, there will be visitor berthing available.

All the mechanics of the race will be worked out nearer the time, but it’s definitely one for the diary - after all, what’s another two years when we have waited since 1860? The June-July programme for 2021 is already solidly booked, so to do this iconic and historic race justice, we need to make the clean break to 2022. It deserves the chance to be a fantastic race, and will I feel it be a popular event nationally and internationally, and a chance for the Clubs and sailors to come together - which is what much of sailing is all about. And It will also tie in nicely with Cork Week 2022, which is 11th – 15th July 2022."

Published in ISORA

Dublin Bay Sailing Club Club (DBSC) has laid some of its race marks on Dublin Bay in anticipation of the Summer Series getting underway next month.

As Afloat previously reported, DBSC aims to race from July 20th.

Outer guard marks and seven conical marks in the 'Northern circle area' are now laid in the Bay so, when the go-ahead for racing is given, the marks will already be in place.

This could see DBSC's first Thursday race of the season start on July 23rd and Saturday racing from July 25th, some three months later than originally scheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The club is the largest yacht racing club in the country and provides yacht racing for all of Dun Laoghaire Harbour's yacht clubs, a combined fleet of over 200 boats and some 2,000 sailors or more.

Published in DBSC
Page 10 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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