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Displaying items by tag: Dun Laoghaire Harbour

After the disappointment of the blowout of last weekend’s (June 25) RIYC Regatta, this weekend’s Royal St George big event on Saturday 2 July is much anticipated on Dublin Bay.

The Frank Keane BMW George Regatta brings to a close the annual waterfront regattas for 2022 at Dun Laoghaire, which began on 12 June with the DMYC Regatta and was followed a week later by the Davy NYC Regatta.

Online entry is still available for the event, which comes with an equally packed onshore programme that promises a great day of fabulous food and family entertainment along with the excitement of racing on the water.

What’s more, the RStGYC Regatta Dinner is back this Saturday evening in the clubhouse. Click HERE to book a table at €55 per head and for any further questions contact Elle at 01 280 1811 or email [email protected]

Published in RStGYC

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Councillors voted last night, with 35 in favour and five against, for the reopening of the Dún Laoghaire Harbour ferry terminal as a co-worker, incubator space. 

Dún Laoghaire ferry terminal, which has lain idle for seven years, will be leased by the Council and open later this year.

The deal, which will see the publicly-owned building leased to Quartermaster Innovations Ltd for at least 13 years, was described at Monday night's council meeting as both a “shot in the arm” for the town and “privatisation beyond belief”.

As Afloat reported as far back as March 2020Lapetus Investments Ltd, trading as Quarterdeck Innovation, has envisioned a “co-working innovation space” within the St Michael’s Pier terminal building.

It intends “to create a technology hub whereby small and medium-size businesses can collaborate in a community-based environment that promotes and fosters entrepreneurship, through a spirit of innovation and creativity”.

The project team is led by accountant Hilary Haydon, a past president of Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Chamber of Commerce and former Chair of Nutgrove Enterprise Centre.

And it’s hoped the scheme could create more than 650 jobs after five years in the south Dublin port town — which will pique the interest of the waterfront yacht clubs among many other local stakeholders.

According to Owen Laverty, head of enterprise with DLRCoCo a key benefits of the Quarterdeck Innovation project include generating in excess of three quarter billion euros in wages during the lifetime of the project.

And the project emphasises integration with its location, positioning the hub as particularly attractive for marine technology and research.

Lapetus/Quarterdeck intends to repurpose the building’s interior as a “state-of-the-art innovation campus” proposing “sensational sea views from almost every desk”.

In addition, its ground floor level would be a ‘Food Hall’ acting as a common area for co-workers to relax away from their desks, and which would also be open to the public as “an opportunity for strong local community interaction”.

The project partners have also pledged to “assist and collaborate closely” with the feasibility study team for the National Watersports Campus being proposed for Carlisle Pier to help “improve the harbour’s infrastructure resulting in improved access, job creation and strong tourism potential”.

The company established by Haydon will pay rent to the council of €400,000 per year, starting in year two.

According to the Irish Times questions were raised about whether Mr Haydon had sufficient track record to develop the project, but Owen Laverty, said he had experience, had invested significant sums in the project and would have tenants in by the third quarter of this year. He described the project as “very exciting” repeatedly.

Proposals to develop the former Stena ferry terminal were first made in 2017 but later scrapped over licensing issues.

More in the Irish Times here including reaction from Councillors

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Dun Laoghaire RNLI’s new D-class lifeboat was named Joval in a ceremony held on Sunday (12 June) at the bandstand on the town's East Pier. The unusual name comes from a request by the late donor, Mrs. Valerie Staunton, that an inshore lifeboat be funded by her legacy and that the vessel be named after both her and her late husband, John. The couple, both from London, fell in love with Ireland when visiting the country in the 60s and settled here in their later years.

For the ceremony, the station turned the iconic bandstand on the East Pier into a stage with music provided by both Kilmacud Crokes Choir and musicians from Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann.

The donor, the late Mrs. Valerie Staunton, was well represented by friends and former neighbours who were delighted to see the lifeboat that bore John and Valerie’s name and to meet the lifeboat crew who would be carrying out rescues in the new craft. Amber Craughwell, daughter of Mrs. Staunton’s Executor attended with her husband Manus Hingerty and neighbours and friends of the couple from Offaly, Maria McGarry Curley and Jacqueline Duffy, named the lifeboat.

 L-R RNLI Visiting the new lifeboat ‘Joval’ at the inshore boathouse before the ceremony, Trustee and Irish Council Member Paddy McLaughlin with friends and neighbours of the late Mr and Mrs Staunton; Amber Craughwell, Manus Hingerty, Maria McGarry Curley and Jacqueline Duffy L-R RNLI Visiting the new lifeboat ‘Joval’ at the inshore boathouse before the ceremony, Trustee and Irish Council Member Paddy McLaughlin with friends and neighbours of the late Mr and Mrs Staunton; Amber Craughwell, Manus Hingerty, Maria McGarry Curley and Jacqueline Duffy Photo: Nick Leach

Master of Ceremonies was Dun Laoghaire RNLI Lifeboat Operations Manager Ed Totterdell.

For the lifeboat naming ceremony, the RNLI station turned the iconic bandstand on the East Pier into a stageFor the lifeboat naming ceremony, the RNLI station turned the iconic bandstand on the East Pier into a stage Photo: Nick Leach

The lifeboat was accepted into the care of the Institution by RNLI Trustee and Irish Council member Paddy McLaughlin, who himself is a lifeboat Coxswain from Red Bay in county Antrim. In accepting the vessel Paddy said, "I know how special these events are to a station. This isn’t just an occasion but rather an acknowledgement of an incredible lifesaving gift that a donor has given us, a gift that will go on many journeys with the lifeboat crew and one which will save many people over its lifetime."

"The power and the responsibility of the D-class can’t be denied. It was designed and built for a very clear purpose, it’s speed and efficiency making it so effective in saving lives. A highly manoeuvrable, inflatable lifeboat, it generally operates close to shore, coming into its own for searches and rescues close to cliffs and shores, something very familiar to this lifeboat crew."

Dun Laoghaire RNLI's newest lifeboat Helm, Ms. Laura JacksonDun Laoghaire RNLI's newest lifeboat Helm, Ms. Laura Jackson Photo: Nick Leach

The honour of accepting the lifeboat into the care of Dun Laoghaire RNLI fell to the station’s newest lifeboat Helm, Ms. Laura Jackson. Speaking on behalf of the crew she added, "It is a very proud and memorable day for us all. Unfortunately, we do have to say goodbye to our last D class lifeboat Realt na Mara. It served the station faithfully for twelve years but we are very excited to start a new chapter on Joval."

Laura continued, "The D-class lifeboat is the smallest in the fleet, but it saves the most lives. Here is Dun Laoghaire it is put to the test. The lifeboat could be called multiple times a day to a range of different scenarios. From people being cut off by the tide at Sandymount Strand to a swimmer that urgently needs to be rescued. The versatile and adaptable lifeboat is well suited to Dublin Bay and its surrounding shoreline. The lifeboat has been part of the harbour’s history since the 1800s and it remains so to this day."

A Service of Dedication was then held with Rev Gary O’Dowd, Deacon Kellan Scott, and Father Paul Tyrell.

Before the naming of the lifeboat, Maria McGarry Curley and Jacqueline Duffy, friends and former neighbours of Valerie and John Staunton, who had both made the journey from Offaly, shared some details of the couple’s life with the crowd. They came from London and fell in love with Ireland on their first trip here, cruising on the Shannon in the late 1960s. They made many trips to the country and toured the island before they bought their own boat for fishing in the 1980s which they moored in Lusmagh, County Offaly. It was here they retired to in 1993 and their motivation to fund a lifeboat came from their love of the water. The couple also had a great awareness of the dangers of the water and the need for lifesaving equipment. The lifeboat they have funded is the manifestation of that wish, and the couple would be very proud to see to see where their legacy has gone.

The new lifeboat was helmed for the occasion by Nathan Burke, with crew members Chris Watson and Hazel ReaThe new lifeboat was helmed for the occasion by Nathan Burke, with crew members Chris Watson and Hazel Rea Photo: Nick Leach

The new lifeboat was helmed for the occasion by Nathan Burke, with crew members Chris Watson and Hazel Rea. The champagne for the naming had been carefully stored aboard the lifeboat at the time of its launch and with the signal given, the lifeboat was officially named Joval, and the champagne was poured over the bow by the Helm.

The final Vote of Thanks was given by Deputy Launching Authority Robert Fowler and refreshments were provided at the National Yacht Club. Guests who attended the ceremony included An Cathaoirleach of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, Councillor Lettie McCarthy, and members of Dun Laoghaire Coast Guard. The station would like to extend their thanks to everyone who attended and made the day one to remember.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Well known Dun Laoghaire Harbour sailor Liam Owens of Sandycove in County Dublin has died.

A former Commodore of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, Owens also served as the Convenor of the Dun Laoghaire Combined Yacht Clubs. 

Owens led a successful campaign in 2016 against the threat of supersized cruise ships coming into the Harbour.

In 2016, An Bord Pleanala limited any proposed cruise liner development to accommodate a maximum size of cruise ship to 250m.

Owens said the decision 'secured the future of the harbour and its premier location for the benefit of all Dun Laoghaire residents, watersports users, walkers and all those visitors and locals who value this historic amenity'.

He was enjoying sailing his own boat on Dublin Bay this season and continued to be actively involved in harbour affairs. 

Our heartfelt condolences are with his family and his many friends at home and throughout Ireland and the world.

Funeral details are here

Published in DMYC

Applicants for social and affordable housing may have the opportunity to live within a terrace of mid 19th century Coast Guard “cottages” which are being restored by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown county council.

As The Sunday Independent reports, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council plans to refurbish four of the two-storey cottages, which were constructed in the mid-1800s at Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

As Afloat reported in December 2020, the aim is to “bring them back into use for social housing”, and the scheme is due to be completed in late 2022.

“Kingstown” was the address and customs officers were among first residents in the two-storey cottages after they were constructed in 1845.

The stone used for the dwellings was largely granite, which had been transported via the “Metals” rail line from Dalkey quarry to build the harbour with its distinctive east and west piers.

The “asylum harbour” was designed to give safe refuge to ships caught by bad weather, sandbars and difficult tides en route to Dublin Port.

The cottages were built next to the Coast Guard station and later passed into the control of the British Army. After independence, the buildings were used by the Army - including the Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil (FCA) or Reserve Defence Forces and Naval reserve, An Slua Muirí.

They were then acquired by Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, which commissioned restoration of the cottage sash windows and doors in 2014.

The terrace of houses were earmarked for possible restoration in the Dún Laoghaire Harbour Heritage Management Plan of 2011.

The plan highlighted the fine craftsmanship of much of the harbour structure but an “atmosphere of neglect” in the Old Harbour and Coal Harbour quarter.

The architects praised the “fine architecture” and “very high level of craftsmanship” and good stonework found in the “snecked stone boundary walls and also in the fabric of the Coastguard buildings”.

They described the buildings as part of an “important historic and architecturally fine complex” within Dún Laoghaire’s unique cultural heritage.

Independent senator Victor Boyhan, a former member of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, welcomed the conversion of the harbour properties to social and affordable housing.

“This is in line with Government policy, putting the real estate of the harbour into good use and putting a new living heart into Dún Laoghaire harbour,” he said.

Read more in The Sunday Independent here

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The weekend visit of the ship Greg Mortimer was the first cruise-liner to berth alongside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour in the 2022 season. 

Capable of negotiating the strongest winds and waves, the 104-metre Greg Mortimer is built to polar standards as a purpose-built expedition vessel.

Arriving in Dun Laoghaire on Friday directly from Cartagena, Colombia, the ship specialises in tours of the Arctic and Antarctic regions. 

Expedition Vessel Greg Mortimer alongside at Dun Laoghaire HarbourThe expedition Vessel Greg Mortimer alongside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

The Greg Mortimer features a patented inverted bow concept designed to handle challenging ocean waves.

On Saturday evening, the ship departed Dun Laoghaire Harbour bound for Portrush in Northern Ireland.

No sooner had Greg Mortimer departed, than the 466 ft Laustral arrived at the Dublin Bay anchorage in what is a busy weekend for Dun Laoghaire cruise-liner traffic.

The 466 ft Laustral on the Dublin Bay anchorage Photo: AfloatThe 466 ft Laustral on the Dublin Bay anchorage Photo: Afloat

Live Dublin Bay webcams here

Published in Cruise Liners

Ireland's largest marine leisure harbour at Dun Laoghaire in County Dublin will receive €3,092,289 in Brexit Investment for infrastructure work.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council is one of 13 Coastal Local authorities to be approved for funding under a Government scheme it was announced today.

€1,348M of the funding for Dun Laoghaire Harbour will be used for Berth Fenders and related matters and €1,744M will be for East Pier Revetment Repairs.

Local Senator Victor Boyhan, a former director of Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, has welcomed the funding investment stream.

"This is the largest ever funding announcement of its kind for local authority marine infrastructure for piers and harbours right around our coast", Boyhan said in a statement.

Minister Charlie McConalogue T.D.announced the approval of €32.7m in funding for 110 projects around the Irish coast (see table below) which will fund projects worth over €40m in total. The scheme is proposed for funding under the EU Brexit Adjustment Reserve.

Announcing the approval for the funding of the projects, the Minister commented “It is fantastic that we received so many great applications in this first call for projects and it is truly heartening to see such eagerness to help support our coastal communities transition to living in a post-Brexit economy. I must acknowledge the co-operation and engagement between local authorities, coastal communities and political representatives to make this happen.

This is the largest ever funding announcement of its kind for local authority marine infrastructure and I am confident that it will future-proof our piers and harbours right around our coast. This announcement is also the next step in the Greencastle Breakwater project which I announced approval for in May 2021 and which will have a significant positive impact on the North West."

The Scheme arose from a recommendation of the Seafood Taskforce, set up in March 2021 to look at the impacts specifically on the fishing sector and coastal communities. The Taskforce recommended that the Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) be used to fund rejuvenation of Ireland’s publicly owned coastal and marine infrastructure specifically to address the economic consequences of Brexit arising from the implications to the Irish fishing industry. This investment is intended to help to drive economic diversification and will complement other measures such as Community Led Local Development via the Fisheries Local Action Groups.

The Minister encouraged local authorities to pivot now and focus on delivery of their approved projects: “It is vital that the construction stimulus identified by the Seafood Taskforce is felt as soon as possible in coastal communities, particularly with the other geopolitical challenges currently at play. I ask that all projects with the necessary consents be actioned as soon as possible. The BAR funding is only available until the end of 2023 and this is a unique opportunity to reinvigorate our public marine infrastructure.”

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine is administering the Scheme. Each local authority is responsible for governance and delivery of its own projects. A further call for projects will issue later this year to allocate the remaining funding under the Scheme.

Brexit Adjustment: Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme 2022-2023

Brexit Investment for infrastructure work

Brexit Adjustment: Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme

Brexit Adjustment: Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme

Brexit Adjustment: Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme

Brexit Adjustment: Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme

Brexit Adjustment: Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme

Brexit Adjustment: Local Authority Marine Infrastructure Scheme

Download the full allocation list below as a PDF file

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Dun Laoghaire Harbour has published a schedule of its cruise liner calls this year with many of the liners anchoring on Dublin Bay and tendering passengers ashore. 

A ‘cap’ on the number of cruise calls to Dublin Port since 01 January 2020 has consequently seen an increase in the number of bookings of ‘tender’ calls to Dun Laoghaire, the former ferry port. Dun Laoghaire's cruise calls are listed below.

Diagram of harbour showing tender routeDiagram of harbour showing tender route

As Afloat previously reported, new pontoon facilities are now in place at the harbour to facilitate embarkation and disembarkation from some 78 expected cruise liner calls running until October.

Pontoon from the east with typical tender  (15m loa) alongsidePontoon from the east with typical tender  (of 15m length overall) alongside at St Michael's Wharf

The next ship to arrive at Dun Laoghaire will be the 300-metre long MSC Magnifica that arrived in Cork Harbour today (Tuesday, April 19th) as pictured by Bob Bateman above.

The 3,000 passenger ship is expected into Dun Laoghaire on the Irish east coast on Wednesday, April 20th where she will anchor in the bay and tender passengers ashore. 

Dun Laoghaire Harbour 2022 Scheduled Cruise Calls

Dun Laoghaire Harbour 2022 Scheduled Cruise Calls

Published in Cruise Liners

Dun Laoghaire Harbour's newly installed 'primary passenger ship tender pontoon' was put to immediate use this weekend to facilitate the second cruise-liner visit of the season to the east coast port.

Tenders from the Viking Venus Cruise Ship were the first to use the facility that brings cruise passengers to awaiting coaches in the harbours' compound which means no disruption to harbour car parks.

As Afloat reported previously,  the new 40m x 4.5m floating pontoon is now located at No 4 berth on the east side of St Michael’s Pier. The pontoon was assembled at the nearby Carlisle Pier and towed to the berth.

The Viking Venus Cruise Ship Tende disembarks passengers at the new pontoon berth at Dun Laoghaire HarbourThe Viking Venus Cruise Ship Tender disembarks passengers at the new pontoon berth at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Sunday

Tender operations for the visiting ships, (anchored in the bay) will now take place from No 4 berth using the nearby compound for awaiting coaches. 

The move has the added benefit of freeing up the town's Carlisle Pier for sailing events and boat storage.

And the newly installed glass wall at the plaza overlooking the berth means the visiting ship at anchor and the tendering operation itself is now visible from the quayside.

The next liner to use the new dock will be the MSC Magnifica on Wednesday, April 20th.

The new pontoon comes complete with mooring bollards, ramps and steps for the safe disembarkation of passengersThe new pontoon comes complete with gangway, mooring bollards, ramps and steps for the safe disembarkation of passengers

Dun Laoghaire Harbour will have a newly installed 'primary passenger ship tender pontoon' this weekend in time for its expected cruise liner visits to the harbour this summer. 

It is understood that the whole tender operations for the visiting ships, (anchored in the bay) will now take place from No 4 berth using the nearby compound for coaches which means no disruption to harbour car parks. 

The move has the added benefit of freeing up the town's Carlisle Pier for sailing events and boat storage.

Details are contained in the latest Notice to Mariners (No 10 off 2022) that is downloadable below as a pdf file.

This Saturday (16 April, 2022) the new 40m x 4.5m floating pontoon will be located at No 4 berth on the east side of St Michael’s Pier. Work is currently underway to assemble the pontoons at the Carlisle Pier where they will be put into the water and towed to the berth.

The new pontoon comes complete with mooring bollards, ramps and steps for the safe disembarkation of passengers. 

Alongside calls, however, where smaller cruise liners berth in the harbour will still take place at the No 2 berth. 

The harbour also has a smaller pontoon at No.2 berth installed near the old Coopers Slip at the Carlisle Pier and close to the town's RNLI lifeboat. As regular Afloat readers will know, this facility was used for Dun Laoghaire's first cruise call of the year.

It is expected that this small pontoon will remain in place for use as required.

Tagged under
Page 1 of 37

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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