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X-Yachts will join with Sailing Aarhus to host its next Gold Cup in Denmark’s second-biggest city next summer.

The dates to save are 21-23 May with registration, as well as a detailed programme of events, expected to go online soon.

And the celebration is set to be a big one, following last year’s 40th anniversary bash and the restrictions on sailing amid this year’s coronavirus crisis.

“It is of the essence that X-Yachts owners can meet and enjoy a couple of days with like-minded and to have fun on the water,” says X-Yachts chief executive Kræn Nielsen.

“These kinds of experiences will always be remembered, and Aarhus is a perfect place to meet and it is a charming city with many cultural attractions … something for everyone.”

Published in X-Yachts GB & IRL
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#Rowing: Paul O’Donovan finished fifth overall in the single sculls at the Armada Cup, and Sanita Puspure third in the Gold Cup in Philadelphia, a race that was part of the Head of the Schuylkill event.

 At the Ireland trial at the National Rowing Centre, Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan won the men’s pair on Sunday, with David O’Malley and Shane Mulvaney second. O'Driscoll and O'Donovan did not compete on the Saturday.

 Jack Dorney of Shandon won both the junior single sculls and the junior double, with Castleconnell’s Rory O’Neill. Molly Curry had equivalent wins: she teamed up with Lauren O’Brien – also of Castleconnell – on the Sunday.

 UCD’s men’s senior eight were fastest at the Castleconnell Head of the River, and Enniskillen junior crews also shone.

Ireland Trial, National Rowing Centre (Provisional Results; winners) Saturday

Men

Pair - Senior: UCD (S Mulvaney, D O’Malley). Under-23: UCD (S O’Connell, A Goff).

Single - Senior: Shandon (A Harrington). Under-23: UCC (R Byrne)

Women

Pair: UCC, Skibbereen (A Keogh, E Hegarty). Under-23: Neptune, UCD (C Feerick, E Lambe). Jun: Cork Boat Club (C O’Sullivan, J Duggan).

Single – Sen: Killorglin (M Dukarska). Lightweight: Skibbereen (D Walsh). Under-23 Lightweight: Skibbereen (L Heaphy). Junior: Coleraine GS (M Curry).

Sunday

Men

Four – Under-23: O’Connell, Goff, Keating, Whittle. Jun 18: Gallagher, Daly, Butler, Murphy

Pair: M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll

Double – Sen: Haugh, Crowley. Lightweight: J McCarthy, F McCarthy. Lwt U-23: Sutton, Gaffney Jun 18: Dorney, O’Neill.

Single – Sen: Byrne. U-23: Bann (Christie). Lightweight: Sutton.

Women

Four – Under-23: Hanlon, Casey, Lambe, Feerick. Jun 18: O’Sullivan, Duggan, Tyther, O’Donoghue.

Pair – Hegarty, Keogh. Jun 18: McGrath, Gannon

Double – Sen: Dukarska, Crowley. Lightweight: Walsh, Casey. Jun 18: Curry, L O’Brien.

Single – Lightweight: Legresley. U-23: Heaphy. Jun 18: Gilmore.    

Published in Rowing

#dragon – Defending champion Markus Wieser  has retained the Dragon Gold Cup. The professional sailor, competing for the United Arab Emirates, was in the lead of the 70th Dragon Gold Cup the whole week, but didn't get it all his own way. Lawrie Smith (GBR), Yevgen Braslativ (UAE) and Lars Haigh (DEN) were close at various points. Dutchman Pieter Heerema scored a second place overall after six races. First Corinthian was Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen who finished in sixth place overall. Ireland's Martin Byrne, Adam Winkelmann and Prof O'Connell, the only Irish boat competing were 44th in the 86-boat fleet.

The 70th Dragon Gold Cup in Medemblik, was sailed from 7 to 12 September. On the opening day on Sunday there was no race due to lack of wind and also on Tuesday. These races were resailed on Monday and Wednesday, therefore all six scheduled races eventually were sailed. The conditions were perfect, especially on the two last days. Moderate to strong wind, a light chop and plenty of Sun.

Final top five:

1. Markus Wieser, Pugachev Sergey, Leonchuk Georgii, UAE, 42
2. Pieter Heerema, Theis Palm, Claus Olesen, NED, 59
3. Braslavets Yevgen, Sidorov Igor, Timokhov Sergiy, UAE, 61
4. Lars Hendriksen, Frithjof Kleen, Pedro Andrade, DEN, 70
5. Anatoly Loginov, Vadim Statsenko, Alexander Shalagin, RUS, 74

More here

Published in Dragon
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#dragongoldcup – Dun Laoghaire's Andrew Craig took a stunning win in the penultimate race off Kinsale yesterday to be 11th overall and top Irish boat at the Dragon Gold Cup. Scroll down for video interview with Andrew Craig below.

There were more shocks and upsets as several of the top boats posted poor results and the leader board was shuffled once again. It was another strong wind day and with the sun frequently breaking through the scudding clouds and plenty of spray flying it was a spectacular day in every way keeping the spectators enthralled from start to finish.

The race got underway cleanly at the first attempt and the boats set off up the beat in around 16-18 knots from the West South West punching a building sea. The fleet spread out right across the course and at the first mark those who had come up the centre right had a slight advantage. First to round was Ireland's Claire Hogan followed by Remy Arnaud of France, Brit Mark Dicker, Australia's Richard Lynn, Andrew Craig from Dublin, Lawrie Smith sailing for Glandore YC, Jose Matoso of Portugal, Gavia Wilkinson-Cox from Cowes and London based Klaus Diederichs. For the spectators looking out for the rest of the overall regatta leaders it was a long wait as Hungary's Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi, Germany's Tommy Mueller, Denmark's Joergen Schoenherr and overnight leader Dmitry Samokhin were all badly buried well down the fleet.

By the first gate Arnaud had moved up into first ahead of Matoso, Criag was third, Hogan fourth and Smith fifth. Denmark's Lars Hendriksen, sailing for the Ukraine, had moved up to sixth from eleventh. Back in the pack Kis-Szölgyémi and Mueller continued to struggle although Schoenherr and Samokhin had both begun to claw their way back up the fleet.

As the boats headed off up the second beat the breeze started to build to 20 knots and the sea increased with it. A couple of shifts helped to shake things up again and at the second weather mark Craig led from Germany's Philip Dohse with Arnaud third, Matoso fourth, Hogan fifth, Smith sixth and Hendriksen seventh.

On the second run the leading four held their positions as Hendriksen put on an impressive show of downwind speed to get past Hogan. Germany's Reemt Reemtsma moved into seventh with Smith eighth. Further down the pack Schoenherr was up to fifteenth and Mueller and Samokhin were making gains.

As they started up the final beat the wind began to gust up into the mid 20s and once again the left side of the course was much rougher. With the wind and tide more favourable on the right the majority of the fleet headed out from the mark on port tack. With only one way to go up the beat Craig was able to confidently cover the fleet and he cruised home to victory. Smith and Diederichs both put in hugely impressive beats and sailed themselves up into second and third place respectively with Diederichs just beating Matoso into fourth on the line by a nose. Arnaud crossed fifth followed closely by Hendriksen and Hogan. Looking back down the fleet for the regatta leaders the first to appear was Schoenherr who crossed ninth, Mueller made huge ground on the final beat to finish sixteenth, Samokhin twentieth and Kis-Szölgyémi twenty-fourth.

In the overall standings Lawrie Smith now leads the regatta with 31 points, giving him a 12 point margin over second placed Dmitry Samokhin. Tommy Mueller moves into third on 51 points, three ahead of Joergen Schoenherr.  Ferenc Kis-Szölgyémi and Jose Matoso both count 56 points with Matoso claiming fifth on count back. Three further points adrift in seventh is Klaus Diederichs on 59 points. The top ten is rounded out by Anatoly Loginov on 65, Lars Hendriksen on 67 and Poul-Richard Hoj-Jensen on 71 points.

In the Corinthian Division for all amateur crews Cameron Good of Kinsale continues to lead the regatta. Overnight second placed Graham Bailey, the reigning Corinthian Gold Cup Champion and winner of races three and four, had a shocker of a day rounding the first mark at the back of the fleet and only recovering to eighteenth (47th overall) which drops him down the Corinthian ranking to sixth overall. Remy Arnaud was today's Corinthian race winner and as a result he now sits in second overall, three points behind Good. A single point further back is Denmark's Frank Berg with Reemt Reemtsma fourth.

In the Nations Cup competition the British Team of Lawrie Smith, Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen and Chris Hunt now lead with 192 points, Russia, represented by Dmitry Samokhin, Anatoly Loginov and Alexander Exhkov, is second on 202 and Germany, represented by Tommy Mueller, Philip Dohse and Stephan Link, is third on 248.

Tomorrow's final race showdown will be an edge of the seat affair as the sixty-strong fleet makes a last bid for gains. With no discard every point counts and both Smith and Good's leads are by no means unassailable so we can expect and edge of the seat finish to what has already been a truly spectacular regatta.

This evening the crews will enjoy the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup Championship Dinner at Kinsale Yacht Club, preceded by an exhibition of black and white Dragon photography taken earlier in the week by renowned local photographer Giles Norman. Brewin Dolphin Executive Chairman Jamie Mattheson and his wife Angela, themselves successful racing sailors, will be joining the competitors for what promises to be a fantastic evening of fun and celebration. Also joining the party will be Olympic Bronze Medallist Ossie Stewart, who normally sails as Lawrie Smith's tactician. Ossie suffered a minor stroke just 10 days ago and so wasn't able to compete this week, but he arrived in Kinsale today and kept an eye on Lawrie's progress from the RIB. The entire fleet is delighted to see Ossie back on his feet and looks forward to racing against him again very soon.

Published in Dragon
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Dragon Gold Cup - Race One. Two Irish Yacht Club Commodores lead the home challenge at the Dragon Gold Cup in Kinsale with race one completed in a windy 20 knot south westerly breeze today. Cameron Good, Commodore of Kinsale YC finished in seventh while Dubliner Martin Byrne, Commodore of Royal St George YC finished 11th in the 70 boat international fleet.

The race was won by current Dragon world champion Lawrie Smith followed by double Olympic gold medalist Poul Rickard Hoj-Jensen. Racing continues until Friday.

Over 250 competitors, supporters and guests attended the Opening Ceremony for the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup 2012 at a reception at Kinsale Yacht Club.

The Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup 2012 got underway in spectacular style as the 60 competitors from 16 nations and 4 continents completed their first race in strong winds and big seas off Kinsale.

The Dragon Gold Cup is legendary for being one of the toughest championships in keelboat racing as it is raced over huge 12+ mile windward leeward courses and there is no discard in the six race series. Today's rough seas and winds of up to 25 knots from the south certainly ensured it was also a test of stamina as well as skill and there were incidents aplenty with a number of spectacular broaches and some exciting mark roundings as the sailors contended with the confused seas and blustery conditions.

The fleet got away cleanly at the first time of asking by PRO Alan Crosbie, and the first beat saw the boats spread out very evenly across the course. At the first weather mark those who had opted to go right had the advantage and it was reigning Dragon World Champion Lawrie Smith, sailing GBR763 Alfie, who led the fleet from double Olympic Gold Medallist Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, sailing GBR775 Danish Blue; Dimitry Samokhin sailing RUS76 Strange Little Girl; 2010 Gold Cup winner Anatoly Loginov sailing RUS27 Annapurna; and Cameron Good, sailing IRL211 Little Fella.

Whilst Smith and Hoj-Jensen then held their positions around the course the battle behind them for third place was fierce. By the start of the final beat Tommy Mueller, sailing GER1123 Sinewave, had pulled up into third just ahead of Samokhin, Good was fifth and Loginov sixth with Lars Hendriksen, sailing UKR7 Bunker Boys, moving up into seventh.

Hoj-Jensen pushed Smith hard on the final beat but both boats also had to defend their positions on the chasing pack. At the line Smith won from Hoj-Jensen whilst Samokhin pulled back up into third with Mueller fourth. Hendriksen, who has claimed the Gold Cup on two previous occasions, sailed a wonderful final leg to cross the line in fifth. Joergen Schoenherr, sailing DEN406 African Queen, also showed blistering pace to go from 11th to sixth on the last beat, just pipping Good on the line.

Cameron Good, Commodore of the Kinsale Yacht Club, also claimed victory in the Corinthian Division, for the all-amateur crews. Dublin's Gary Treacy, sailing IRL198 Dublin Bay, took second place in the Corinthians with Reemt Reemtsma, sailing GBR1121 Caroroo, in third and IDA Chairman Richard Blickman, sailing NED393 Cobweb, fourth.

One of the most impressive stories of the day came from the Australian team aboard AUS222 Puff III. They were running very deep in sixth place on the second run when a rogue wave caught the transom and span them into a Chinese jybe. Helmsman Richard Lynn found himself being swept out of the boat as his crew, Ian Olson and Aussie sailing legend Roger Hickman, battled to get their spinnaker, which was now doing a very good job of trawling for supper, back under control. Fortunately Richard just managed to grab the spinnaker sheet on his way out of the boat and by the time the boys had the kite under control he was back on board. They had lost a number of places but they dug in on the final lap and managed to pull back up into ninth place, keeping themselves firmly in contention.

Five more races are scheduled and the regatta continues until Friday 14th September. Lighter airs are forecast for the next couple of days but strong airs are expected to return later in the week.

The Dragon Gold Cup is considered the open World Cup of Dragon Sailing with 60 boats from 16 countries and several world champions and ex-olympians competing for this prestigious trophy, hosted by Kinsale Yacht Club from 8th-14th September.

Cameron Good, Commodore, Kinsale Yacht Club welcomed all the competitors and supporters and introduced Guest of Honour, Simon Coveney TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, who congratulated Kinsale Yacht Club for hosting this international sailing event and wished everyone good sailing for the week ahead.

Also in attendance were Lieutenant Commander Brian Sweeney, Captain of the LE Ciara Naval Vessel, that docked in Kinsale on Saturday, together with Lieutenant Ronan McLoughlin.

Additional guests included Billy Lynch, Mayor of Kinsale, Conor Grimley from Tilman Brewin Dolphin, Dublin who is participating in the Dragon Gold Cup and Niamh McCutcheon, President of the Irish Sailing Association.

Some of the top sailors competing for the Brewin Dolphin Dragon Gold Cup include British Olympic Bronze Medallist and reigning Dragon World Champion Lawrie Smith, Danish double Olympic Gold Medallist and five time Dragon Gold Cup winner Poul Richard Hoj-Jensen, past Dragon Gold Cup and World Champion Tommy Mueller from Germany, double Dragon Gold Cup and European Champion Lars Hendriksen from Denmark, three time Dragon Gold Cup winner Joergen Schoenherr, also from Denmark and Russia's Anatoly Loginov who won the Gold Cup in 2010.

With teams from sixteen nations competing including visitors from across Europe and as far afield as Australia, Hong Kong, Russia and the Ukraine competition is expected to be fierce.

Two of the top female Dragon helms will also be competing in the form of Britain's Gavia Wilkinson-Cox and Germany's Tanja Jacobsohn, both of whom are more than capable of putting in winning performances.

The Irish Dragon Fleet is well represented by current Edinburgh Cup holder Simon Brien from the Royal North of Ireland YC, Martin Byrne from the Royal St George YC and Andrew Craig, also from the Royal St George YC and recent Irish South Coast Champion, Cameron Good from Kinsale

Regatta Director is Julie Silfverberg; the Race Management team is headed up by Alan Crosbie and the M.Yves Léglise is Chairman of the International Jury.

Published in Dragon

Match Racing has been given full approval by the national sailing association. I reported a few weeks ago that Match Racing Ireland, which organises the racing, had made application to the Irish Sailing Association. This has been approved.

"We are now a recognised Category 3 organisation within the ISA and hope this will mean we can send a representative to the All-Ireland championships, dependent on an invitation to us. Being recognised as a formal body is important for funding or when individual teams need support at international events," Ric Morris of Match Racing Ireland told me. "Bringing people through from college sailing is something we are very interested in and we are at the moment targeting the 2012 World University Match Racing Championships in France."
That may mean having to get hold of a couple of J24s, the boats used for that event. Match racing here has so far been concentrated in the ISA J80 fleet. Ric said he was "confident match racing will continue to flourish. The question will be the scope of it. Howth, Lough Derg and Dun Laoghaire clubs have confirmed they will run match racing next year."
Next month Kinsale will be the location for two match racing events - the ISA Women's Match Race Championship on October 9 and 10 followed by the Open Match Racing Championships from October 22-25.
Dragons Are Still Alive

The English are known for preferring that the rest of the world would speak their language. That attitude resulted in a Norwegian-designed yacht being called a Dragon.

Sailed by a helm and crew of two, it was designed by Norwegian Olympic sailor, Johan Anker, in 1929 with two berths for cruising in his home waters. The boat became so popular that, within ten years, it had spread all over Europe and become established in the top echelons of yacht racing. The Clyde Yacht Association presented the Gold Cup to the class in 1937.

dragons

Dragons competing off Kinsale. Photo: Bob Bateman. Gallery HERE.

During negotiations for the official recognition of the boat by the international sailing federation, a translation of Anker's name into 'Draggen' was rejected by the English yachting association which found 'Dragon' easier. The name was applied to the boat. Johan Anker was killed in World War Two. After the war his family waived design royalties to allow English yards build the boats, "as a token of appreciation for British support of Norway" when it was invaded by the Germans. That led to an increase in its popularity.

Dragons raced their South Coast Championship off Kinsale with ranking points to be won for the World and European Championships. Local club sailors were hoping to end class domination by Dun Laoghaire, but just fell short of their target.

Andrew Craig sailing Chimaera took the South Coast title back to the Royal St.George in Dun Laoghaire, while his clubmate Martin Byrne in Jaguar was second. Cameron Good, Henry Kingston and Simon Furney, a long-established Kinsale team sailed Little Fella, to third overall, with club colleague James Mathews helming Diva, crewed by Rick and Rob Johnson in fourth.

I have heard the Dragons described as "old worldly" but the class is alive and well to judge from the racing in plenty of breeze off Kinsale, where the Dragon Gold Cup, a world event, will be held in 2012. Kinsale Yacht Club will also host the national championships next year.

KYC is and will be, a busy place.

• This article is reprinted by permission of the CORK EVENING ECHO in which Tom MacSweeney writes maritime columns twice weekly. Evening Echo website: www.eecho.ie

Published in Island Nation

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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