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Displaying items by tag: Dublin City Council

Lack of financial and public support is being cited as the reason for scrapping plans for a white-water rafting course in Dublin city centre, as RTÉ News reports.

Costs for the controversial scheme planned for George’s Dock had risen to €25 million earlier this year as Dublin City Council (DCC) sought expressions of interest in the contract for the project.

It followed shortly after a council statement that it remained “hopeful” of securing the funds required for the “elite” white-water rafting and kayaking circuit, which was first suggested in early 2018.

However, DCC’s Capital Programme 2022-2024 report, from chief executive Owen Keegan, says there has been a “considerable amount of negative commentary related to this project…that appears impossible to reverse and that has undermined the planned funding of the project”.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

Coats for the controversial white-water rafting centre proposed for George’s Dock have risen to €25 million as Dublin City Council seeks expressions of interest in the contract.

RTÉ News reports on the latest figures release by the council which show an additional €2 million in costs since the project was approved over a year ago.

The council documents also advise would-be contractors that the scheme remains “subject to funding” following issues that emerged last year.

In December the council said it “remains hopeful” of securing the funds required despite the State rejecting a grant application that would have covered a quarter of its costs.

The ‘elite’ white water rafting circuit was first mooted in early 2018 when a design tender was issued as part of redevelopment plans for George’s Dock, adjacent to the IFSC in the city centre.

City councillors were presented with plans in January 2019, with costs estimated at €12 million for a facility serving ‘elite kayak slalom’ squads, as well as training for emergency services besides potential recreational use.

Then Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring described the scheme as a “white elephant”.

RTÉ News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

The white-water rafting course proposed for Dublin city centre is still on the agenda — though the tender for its construction has been pushed back to next year.

According to TheJournal.ie, it’s emerged that “challenges” arising from the coronavirus pandemic have forced a delay in Dublin City Council’s plans.

It’s also reported that the council “remains hopeful” of securing the funds needed for the controversial €23 million project — despite the State rejecting a grant application that would have covered more than a quarter of its costs.

TheJournal.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

The Government has refused a grant application from Dublin City Council that would have funded its plans for a white water rafting course in the city centre to the tune of €6.6 million, as TheJournal.ie reports.

Councillors who voted last December to approve the controversial plans for George’s Dock were told that that €5 million of the project’s €23 million cost would come from development levies, with €4 million from the council’s own reserves, and the rest coming from grants, predominantly from the State.

But it’s now emerged that just weeks after the council vote, an application by the local authority made last year under scheme 1 of the Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund was refused as it “did not score highly enough”.

The news comes a week after the council announced proposals for a floating outdoor pool and sauna faclility adjacent to the George's Dock scheme.

TheJournal.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

A site on Custom House Quay adjacent to the planned white water rafting course in George’s Dock has been earmarked for a €15 million outdoor pool, as TheJournal.ie reports.

The scheme being proposed by Dublin City Council is modelled after a similar facility in Helsinki, Finland — complete with a pool floating on the River Liffey and saunas in an adjacent quayside complex.

It also appears superficially similar to the ‘urban beach’ project that was proposed for Dun Laoghaire, in the vein of Berlin’s Badeschiff, but was put on hold a number of years ago over funding issues within the former Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company.

Custom House Quay was chosen as the optimum site for the project as its proximity to the controversial rafting course would help develop the area “into a hub for water based recreational activity in the city”, says Docklands area manager Derek Kelly.

TheJournal.ie has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

Dublin City councillors have voted to approve controversial plans for a white water rafting course in the city centre’s George’s Dock that has already seen the council spend half a million euro, as The Irish Times reports.

Plans for the ‘elite’ rafting circuit, which would form a perimeter around the dock between the IFSC and the CHQ building, were first mooted in early 2018 and shown to councillors at the beginning of this year before falling off the agenda.

Last week it emerged that the then estimated €12 million cost had almost doubled for the plans, which were revived after a change in the council’s makeup following summer’s local elections. Previously they had been criticised by former lord mayor Nial Ring as a “white elephant”.

In a meeting last night (Monday 2 December) councillors were told that €5 million of the project’s now €23 million cost would come from development levies, with €4 million from the council’s own reserves, and the rest coming from grants — predominantly from the State.

Aside from envisaged “elite kayak slalom training”, the centre is also aimed for training use by emergency services. Assistant chief fire officer Greg O’Dwyer welcomed the plan, telling councillors it could revolutionise training for the city’s fire brigade.

But others raised questions about how the facility would serve the local community, how it would operate commercially, what rates it might be subject to and the potential for its future privatisation.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Update: an earlier version of this article suggested that Dublin City Council had spent €1 million on the project so far. It has since been confirmed that the council spent €565,000 developing its plans, according to RTÉ News.

Published in Kayaking

Costs for the proposed white water rafting centre at George’s Dock have doubled to nearly €23 million, as The Irish Times reports.

The news comes as controversy over plans for the site in Dublin’s Docklands caused a storm on social media in reaction to a promotional video shared by Dublin City Council on Tuesday (26 November).

The ‘elite’ white water rafting circuit was first mooted in early 2018 when a design tender was issued as part of redevelopment plans for George’s Dock, adjacent to the IFSC in the city centre.

City councillors were presented with plans in January this year, with costs estimated at €12 million for a facility serving ‘elite kayak slalom’ squads, as well as training for emergency services besides potential recreational use.

Then Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring described the scheme as a “white elephant”. However, the plans returned to the fore this autumn following summer’s local elections and a public consultation was launched into the proposals.

Dublin City Council says the original cost estimate did not include design fees, site preparation costs or VAT liability, though it added that it intends to find the scheme from grants. Councillors will make the final decision on the project next month.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

Dublin City Council says a blanket of noxious material on a beach in Ringsend is rotting seaweed and not residue from the adjacent wastewater treatment plant.

As The Irish Times reports, the foul-smelling brown slick at Shelly Banks prompted numerous complaints from the public — but the council says it is actually a macro algae called ectocarpus siliculosis, which produces a smell similar to sewage when it decomposes.

Local authority inspection of the are found “no evidence of a sewage discharge” at the beach next to the controversial wastewater plant, which is estimated to be operating at 20% above capacity.

Overflow from the plant after heavy rains discoloured the River Liffey in February this year, though a more recent incident coincided with an algal bloom many mistook for untreated wastewater.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

Plans for a white-water rafting circuit in the heart of Dublin have come back to the fore, as The Irish Times reports.

Earlier this year Dublin City councillors were presented with plans for scheme, which aims to transform George’s Dock in the north inner city into an “elite” white-water canoeing, kayaking and rescue training facility.

Plans stalled before the elections, with former lord mayor Nial Ring branding the White Water Rafting Centre proposals as a “white elephant”.

Changes in the council since this summer’s local elections have now seen the project revived, and it has been opened for public consultation until Thursday 3 October.

But the former lord mayor’s sentiments are echoed by critics who suggest there has been “no consideration” for inner-city youths in the proposals.

Published in Canoeing

#GeorgesDock - Dublin City councillors were yesterday presented with plans to transform George’s Dock into an “elite” white-water canoeing amenity for sports and rescue training, according to The Irish Times.

Last April, it was reported that a design tender had been issued for the proposed white-water course and pool as part of the George’s Dock redevelopment.

The rectangular fast-water course would follow the perimeter of the dock basin, with a pool in the centre for flat-water kayaking, water polo and other purposes.

It’s expected that both “elite kayak slalom” squads and emergency services such as the fire brigade would avail of the €12 million facility for training, alongside its potential recreational uses.

Plans also see the former Dublin Docklands Development Authority on Custom House Quay revived as a support building for the white-water course and other water-based activities in the area.

However, Dublin Lord Mayor Nial Ring has described the scheme as a “white elephant”, as other councillors proposed more modest community-based projects for the George’s Dock space.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Canoeing
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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.

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