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Displaying items by tag: Fundraising

East Coast rowing clubs pooled their efforts to row more than 3,200km in 24 hours and raise more than €20,500 in aid of a young cancer patient from Blackrock.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, St Michael’s Rowing Club members spearheaded the challenge to support nine-year-old Alice Hayes, who was diagnosed earlier this year with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma, a rare, aggressive, and complex cancer of the nerve cell.

Gareth Witthington and Nicola Fitzgerald of St Michael’s in Dun Laoghaire — who organised the event last Saturday 26 November — hoped to raise €7,500 in the joint effort between all 11 rowing clubs on the East Coast, relay rowing on ergometers to hit a target of 3,171km in 24 hours.

The final totals far exceeded their expectations, with the total distance rowed at 3,228km and funds raised nearly three times what was targeted.

And the funds will make a significant contribution to the care of Alice, whose family need to raise a total of €550,000 to get her access to life-saving cancer drugs in a clinical trial in New York next year.

Nine-year-old Alice Hayes added to the rowing total herself with the support of her family at St Michael’s RC on Saturday 26 NovemberNine-year-old Alice Hayes added to the rowing total herself with the support of her family at St Michael’s RC on Saturday 26 November

“We are delighted with the superb performances by our membership, the wider East Coast clubs, overseas rowers who joined from the United States, Finland and the United Kingdom, Cormac Devlin TD who showed his support by rowing alongside the St Michael’s, the CBRE Global Work Place Solutions office challenges and a dig out from the Dun Laoghaire Sea Scouts who got us over the line,” Witthington said.

“Congratulations to all! We set ourselves the target of €7,500 and between online and offline fundraising the total currently stands at over €20,500!

“This is an incredible amount of money that will go towards getting Alice the help she needs, and we were so moved that Alice came down to row with us on Saturday for a little while.

“To say we are gobsmacked about how much was raised is an understatement!”

Together, the East Coast rowing clubs said they wish to thank all their members and supporters for uniting for this challenge “and proving once again that there is great strength and generosity in unity”.

The GoFundMe page to support Alice’s care is still accepting donations.

St Michael’s Rowing Club give thanks to the following:

  • East Coast Rowing Council
  • Stella Maris Rowing Club
  • St Patrick’s Rowing Club
  • Vartry Rowing Club
  • Bray Rowing Club
  • Dalkey Rowing Club
  • Fingal Rowing Club
  • Wicklow Rowing Club
  • Skerries Rowing Club
  • Greystones Rowing Club
  • Supervalu Dun Laoghaire
  • UCD
  • Monkstown Boxing Club
  • CBRE Global Work Place Solutions
  • Texaco Newtown Park Avenue
  • Sea Scouts Dun Laoghaire
Published in Coastal Rowing

The ‘All in a Row’ charity challenge for 2022 is coming to the Dublin’s River Liffey on Saturday 3 December with teams looking to smash a target of 1,000km rowed in eight hours.

Forty skiffs, four Dragon boats, kayaks, canoes and currachs will all be on the water to raise funds for RNLI lifeboats and the Irish Underwater Search and Recovery Unit.

Organisers are hoping to exceed last year’s target of rowing 1,000km during the event on the river, which will start from St Patrick’s Rowing Club at the Tom Clarke Bridge (formerly the East Link Bridge) and finish at the Ha’penny Bridge.

The challenge is being undertaken with the aim of showcasing the River Liffey as one of Dublin’s best amenities while raising funds for two vital water-related charities. The event raised €20,000 in 2021.

The action gets under way start from 8.30am on Saturday 3 December and at 1pm all boats will gather on the Liffey at the Sean O’Casey footbridge where wreath-laying ceremony, attended by the Deputy Lord Mayor of Dublin, will take place to commemorate all those who have lost their lives through drowning.

Many Dublin rowing clubs have their home on the River Liffey and are a regular sight on the water. At the port end of the river is St Patrick’s Rowing Club, Stella Maris Rowing Club, East Wall Water Sports Group and Poolbeg Yacht and Boat club. Ringsend Basin is home to the Plurabelle Paddlers (Dragon boats) and the Dublin Viking Dragon boats.

At the other end of the city, beyond Heuston Station, there are many river rowing clubs and kayaking clubs including Phoenix Rowing Club. And rowing clubs from other parts of Ireland will also join in the challenge.

Competitors are asked to raise sponsorship for the event, and for spectators and supporters there is an iDonate page where one can give towards two very worthy water safety and rescue causes.

Published in River Liffey

Newcastle RNLI has launched a festive 10K, 5K and one-mile fun run to help save lives at sea.

Appealing to the seasoned athlete as well as families and fun runners wanting to get some exercise while getting into the Christmas spirit, the event will take place on Sunday 11 December around the Castlewellan Lake on a mainly flat terrain.

The 10K and 5K events will be chip-timed with prizes for the winners and an iconic RNLI all-weather lifeboat medal for all participants.

The one-mile Christmas dash, meanwhile, is open to everyone and suitable for those bringing families and those with prams and/or pets.

While fun runners won’t be timed, they too will receive a Christmas medal for their efforts. There will also be prizes for the most festive costumes.

For those who can’t do the run on the day but would still like to take part, there will be a virtual option. Simply do the 10K in your own time, send Strava/Garmin or equivalent evidence of completion to RNLI community manager Nuala Muldoon at [email protected] and you will receive a medal in the post.

All participants, whether running on the day or putting in the steps at home, will receive a medal for their efforts | Credit: RNLI/NewcastleAll participants, whether running on the day or putting in the steps at home, will receive a medal for their efforts | Credit: RNLI/Newcastle

Speaking ahead of the event, Muldoon said: “This is a wonderful Christmas event with options to be competitive in either the 10K or 5K, to enjoy the fun run with family or friends, or do it in your own spare time virtually.

“We want people to really get into the Christmas spirit by dressing up, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying a well-deserved mince pie and some Christmas fun at the finish line.

“All proceeds raised from the Castlewellan event will go to Newcastle RNLI. Every time a RNLI crew launches, they are determined to save every one. But they can’t do that without the generosity of the public who support events such as these and raise vital funds.

“By taking on the Castlewellan 10K/5K or one mile fun run, participants are helping to keep our volunteers safe. Every penny they raise makes a difference. It helps the charity to recruit and train volunteers and could fund the kit they need to protect themselves. It helps ensure a lifeboat is ready when the call comes and it enables our safety advice to reach as many people as possible so they can stay safe by the water.”

In 2021, lifeboats at Northern Ireland’s 10 stations launched 297 times bringing 370 people to safety, seven of whom were lives saved.

During the lifeguard season, RNLI teams located on 11 beaches along the Causeway Coast and in Co Down responded to 330 incidents, coming to the aid of 384 people, one of whom was a life saved.

To register for the Castlewellan 10K/5K and one-mile festive fun run on Sunday 11 December, click HERE.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

East Coast rowing clubs are undertaking the challenge of rowing around Ireland in 24 hours on indoor rowing machines in aid of Alice Hayes, a nine-year-old girl from Blackrock who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma, an aggressive type of cancer.

Alice is a bright, beautiful, and brave young girl whose world was turned on its head in April of this year when she was diagnosed with stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is a rare, aggressive, and complex cancer of the nerve cells. Chances of relapse are high, and it carries low survival rates.

“We’re certain she will beat these odds,” say St Michael’s Rowing Club in Dun Laoghaire, who are leading the initiative, “but she needs our help.”

This marks the first time that all 11 rowing clubs along the East Coast — St. Michael’s, Skerries RC, Fingal RC, Stella Maris RC, St Patrick’s RC, Dalkey RC, Bray RC, Greystones RC, Wicklow RC, Vartry RC and Arklow RC — are undertaking a joint fundraising initiative.

Row For Alice logo

Members of the clubs, their families and friends will attempt to row a total of 3,171km in 24 hours on ergometers. Under the watchful eye of St Michael’s captains Gareth Witthington and Nicola Fitzgerald, the challenge will take place on Saturday 26 November from 10 am. The aim is that each person doing the challenge will row for a 30-minute session, which will see people rowing through the night.

The family needs to raise a total of €550,000 to get Alice access to life-saving cancer drugs in a clinical trial at the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in New York. The funds need to be raised by this Christmas to ensure that she is enrolled in the next available trial group in early 2023.

Clubs hope to raise at least €7,500 for the great cause, and a GoFundMe page has been set up for donations. If anyone would like to join the challenge and row on one of the ergometers in Dun Laoghaire, email [email protected]

Published in Rowing

Lough Ree RNLI marked a significant milestone on Monday (17 October) when a cheque for €100,000 was presented as the local community contribution to the overall €1.2m cost of the new lifeboat station on a site donated by the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland.

The presentation was made by Michael Ganly, chairman of the Lough Ree RNLI Appeal Committee to Anna Classon, the RNLI’s regional head for Ireland.

On her first visit to the new lifeboat station, which was opened this past June, Classon said she was “really impressed by the partnership between the RNLI and the IWAI and to see two great organisations sharing resources for the benefit of the community”.

The community contribution was the result of a fundraising campaign which ran for more than 12 months and was supported by community groups, the corporate sector and a host of individuals for the lakeside community and beyond.

Presenting the cheque, Ganly said: “The work of people like committee secretary Pauline Irwin and all others involved was crucial to the success of the venture.”

The new lifeboat station has been very active this year and has been a particular asset to the 46 volunteer crew as the charity and its lifeboat Tara Scougall have responded to 46 callouts in the year to date.

Reflecting on the successful fundraising campaign, Lough Ree RNLI treasurer Vincent Rafter thanked “all the GoFundMe campaigns, tests of endurance and anonymous donors who contributed amounts large and small to this special community initiative”.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

The volunteers at Union Hall RNLI received a cheque recently for over $500 from a group of Irish emigrants in the USA.

Volunteer fundraiser Pamela Deasy travelled to Kinsale recently and met John Farley, who resides in San Francisco, and his friend John O’Mahony, a volunteer deputy launching authority at Kinsale RNLI, to receive a cheque on behalf of McCarthy’s Bar in San Francisco.

McCarthy’s Bar is owned by Eileen McCarthy from Drinagh in West Cork, and its patrons last year raised over $5,000 in aid of the Kinsale lifeboat, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

John is a lifelong supporter of the RNLI with first-hand experience of their work after he, his sister and his niece were rescued a number of years ago when their boat broke down off the Old Head of Kinsale.

Deasy said: “On behalf of all our team, we wish to thank Eileen and John for thinking of us in Union Hall. This donation will help us greatly.

“With three callouts in the last two weeks, this donation will help with training costs for our volunteers, as it costs roughly €1,557 per crew member annually.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Earlier this week, experienced sea kayaker Jon Hynes set out on a journey with a difference — paddling the entire Cork coastline solo in aid of a charity very close to his heart.

Three years ago Jon’s wife Alayne was diagnosed with breast cancer. She has since made a full recovery, thanks in no small part to the support services provided by Cork ARC Cancer Support House.

Jon says that he vowed from the day of Alayne’s diagnosis that he would use his sea kayaking skills to give back to those who helped his family through the most challenging of times.

Jon Hynes with his wife Alayne, who was supported throughout her treatment for breast cancer by Cork ARC Cancer Support House | Credit: Jon HynesJon Hynes with his wife Alayne, who was supported throughout her treatment for breast cancer by Cork ARC Cancer Support House | Credit: Jon Hynes

And now he’s doing just that, tackling all 935km of Cork’s jagged mainland coastline in a kayak he’s also rigged with a 1sqm sail “so when conditions favour I have the added challenge and fun of sail kayaking”.

Jon has already made incredible progress in the four-plus days since setting off on this adventure, claiming an “excellent run” via Roaringwater Bay and Baltimore — and putting in three massive 50km-plus days on the water.

But that’s not so surprising to anyone familiar with his 1,500 round-Ireland paddle in 2015, the subject of an award-nominated documentary as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

He aims to reach the end of the route in Youghal by lunchtime tomorrow (Monday 18 July) and any new contributions towards his €5,000 fundraising goal will surely give him the push he needs to get there.

“I am really excited to deliver this fundraiser,” Jon says, “the gratitude that I feel towards everyone across all the medical services in helping my wife survive breast cancer runs deep.

“In particular, though, I want to acknowledge by my kayaking paddle strokes just how much I appreciate ARC House, their fantastic team and their range of services.

“Cork is a beautiful place to live and thrive, but it is comforting to know that service like Cork ARC house is there when someone has a cancer battle on their hands. Thank you for supporting my fundraiser for Cork ARC.”

Keep up with the latest on Jon’s adventure on his Facebook page HERE.

Published in Kayaking

An intrepid duo intend to cross the Irish Sea from Wales to Wicklow this weekend in an unusual fashion — paddling on their bellies.

Damien Wildes and Charlie Fleetwood will assume the prone position on their stand-up paddleboards from Holyhead in the early hours of this Saturday 9 July for the crossing to Greystones, which they expect to take somewhere between 14 and 20 hours.

Each will be assisted by their own volunteer-operated support boat for the endurance feat in which they hope to raise at least €15,000 for three local charities: Purple House Cancer Support, Wicklow SPCA and Wicklow RNLI.

“Completing the prone crossing will be a world’s first,” Damien told Greystones Guide, “and I know not many people have actually made it across by SUP, so Charlie will make it onto a very short and very illustrious list.”

The pair’s iDonate page has more on their plans HERE.

Published in Offshore

Lough Derg RNLI has hailed as a great success its first ‘Lap the Lake’ charity cycle.

The local lifesaving charity’s fundraising branch organised the 130km cycle around Lough Derg for last Saturday 8 May, which saw 250 cyclists take part in its most ambitious event to date.

And the day was blessed by good weather and good cheer as it raised significant funds that are essential for the lifeboat station’s lifesaving activities.

The 130km route around Lough Derg — covering counties Tipperary, Clare and Galway — gave participants the opportunity to delight in the outstanding beauty of the lake and the River Shannon.

Their safety and wellbeing were well catered for with first-aid providers, out-riders, marshals and bike maintenance stops along the route, as well as comfort and refreshments stations.


Niamh McCutcheon, chair of the Lough Derg RNLI Fundraising Committee and the ‘Lap the Lake’ Event Committee, said the inaugural event “was enjoyed by cyclists from all over Ireland. The friendly welcome provided by the marshals, RNLI crew and the enthusiastic and well-organised committee was much appreciated by all.”

McCutcheon thanked Lough Derg Yacht Club and all the sponsors of the event, whose generosity also ensured its success. Meanwhile, the fundraiser remains open for donations via its JustGiving page.


Feedback from participants praised the attention to detail, safety and comfort; a compliment to the organisational skills of Niamh McCutcheon, Pat Kelly, Caleb and Laura Clarke, Tom Sanders, Anne Atkinson, Bob O Brien, John MacMahon, Sarah Langham and Ted Knight on the Lough Derg RNLI Fundraising Committee and Veronica Plunkett, Ena Butler, Hilda Hamilton, Joe Hughes, Johnathan Horgan, Laura Clarke and Niamh McCutcheon on the Lap the Lake Event Committee.

RNLI lifeboat helm Owen Cavanagh and crew members Doireann Kennedy, Joe O'Donoghue, Ciara Moylan, Ania Skrzypczynska and Ciara Lynch, who worked in shifts throughout the day, brought the lifeboat Jean Spier to the public harbour in Dromineer and to other harbours around the lake and were pleased to answer questions about the RNLI, its lifesaving work and the lifeboat itself.

The fundraising committee thanks the many other members of the Lough Derg Lifeboat Station who played major roles in the success of this event. In particular, Aoife Kennedy, lifeboat administration officer and deputy launching authority at Lough Derg RNLI Lifeboat Station, who assisted with the registration of participating cyclists and acted as liaison between the fundraising committee and the lifeboat station throughout the event; Chris Parker (Lough Derg RNLI crew member) who acted as safety officer; Peter Kennedy (DLA and station mechanic) and Caleb Clarke (hon treasurer) who dressed the yacht club in RNLI bunting; Christine O’Malley (lifeboat operations manager), Liam Moloney (DLA) and Peter Kennedy who remained on hand to coordinate the lifeboat;s manoeuvres; and Richard Nolan (Lough Derg RNLI crew member) and Peter Harty (RNLI area lifesaving manager) who both cycled in the event.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Dublin Bay sailor Guy O’Leary is back in the water and challenging himself again to swim a mile each day during the month of May in aid of cancer research.

Each day of the MileADayInMay! swimming challenge will see Guy joined by “someone who helped me through the rough times” to raise funds for Cancer Research UK and Cancer Clinical Research Trust Ireland.

And Guy’s final swim of the month will start outside Dun Laoghaire Harbour, finishing at the Royal Irish Yacht Club slipway.

As regular Afloat readers will know, Guy — son of Dun Laoghaire Marina developer and local sailing stalwart Michael O’Leary — was diagnosed with cancer after a routine check-up in November 2017 at the age of 34.

“My incredible surgeon performed a bowel resection straight away but a subsequent PET scan revealed the disease had spread to my liver,” he says.

“Another major operation, 11 cycles of chemo and many hard days later, I was back on my feet with clear scans and a future I thought I mightn’t have.”

Guy still wants to give back to the “brilliant” charity and the doctors and scientists it supports “who developed the diagnostics, surgical robots and chemo treatments that saved my life”.

He explains: “It is because of the skill of two amazing surgeons, an unbelievable oncologist, my amazing team of nurses, a relentlessly inquisitive wife and the work of Cancer Research that I am still alive today.

“The progress Cancer Research has made over the last three decades means that I was given a chance at survival. This was a chance my grandmother didn’t have when she fell ill with the disease in the mid-1980s.

“Having been through the horrors of cancer, I want to do everything I can to help the research effort.”

Guy has set up a website for his challenge at MileADayInMay.org which links to his fundraising site, and you can also follow his progress on Instagram.

Published in Sea Swim
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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.

©Afloat 2020

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