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Displaying items by tag: HMS Caroline

Belfast Harbour based HMS Caroline museum has won a reprieve following months of uncertainty over its future.

The Battle of Jutland veteran vessel turned tourist attraction faced a major loss of income after closing during lockdown.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) closed Caroline and other visitor facilities in Portsmouth, Gosport, Hartlepool and Yeovilton at the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.

It says the loss of ticketing revenue during lockdown has left it with a £6.35 million budget shortfall.

While the Treasury has offered the museum an emergency grant to reopen its sites in England, in Northern Ireland its funding arrangement is with the devolved executive.

On Friday the NMRN confirmed that it has now come to a joint understanding with Stormont’s Department for Economy.

For further reading Belfast Telegraph reports

Published in Historic Boats

A World War One naval heritage vessel HMS Caroline - the only surviving ship from the Battle of Jutland and one of Belfast’s leading visitor attractions - will remain closed until 2021 due to funding pressures.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN), which operates HMS Caroline in the Titanic Quarter on behalf of the Northern Ireland executive, said the decision was taken after an operations and funding agreement could not be reached with the Department for the Economy (DfE).

HMS Caroline had been temporarily closed since March 17 in line with public health advice.

The operational agreement for HMS Caroline expired on 30 June, leaving NMRN unable to go on operating the ship.

For further reading reports the Belfast Telegraph here. 

Published in Historic Boats

Historic WW1 vessel HMS Caroline based in Belfast Harbour has been placed in a “dire” situation” by the coronavirus crisis and the resulting loss of revenue, the National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) has warned.

Due to the countrywide shutdown, writes the Newsletter, the 1916 Battle of Jutland survivor will mark its fourth anniversary since a £15 million refurbishment closed it to much-needed visitors.

While many of the UK’s national museums receive up to 80% funding from central government, the attractions operated by the NMRN are allocated only 19% with the remainder self-generated.

Dominic Tweddle, the NMRN’s general director, said: “Currently 91% of the staff at HMS Caroline have been asked to take furlough leave, something that has been critical in helping us manage our financial position.

More here on the WW1 light battle-cruiser which Afloat adds last year was shortlisted for the 2019 Art Fund Museum of the Year award.

Published in Historic Boats

On board HMS Caroline an exhibition of artworks produced by a community group in Belfast forms part of a National Heritage Lottery Fund project.

As the Belfast Telegraph writes, Members of Forthspring Inter-Community Centre have used their artistic talents to produce a series of paintings, sculptures and textiles to produce the Art Trail exhibition, art pieces inspired by the World War One ship which is moored in Belfast Harbour.

Ruth Osborne, learning and community engagement manager at HMS Caroline, said the project shines a light on archival material including photographic collections and sailors' diaries which were saved with the ship.

The pieces themselves have been installed in various locations on board. HMS Caroline has been engaging with communities across Northern Ireland since 2016.

Published in Historic Boats

A World War 1 veteran HMS Caroline has according to the BelfastTelegraph, been tipped as favourite to win the prestigious Art Fund Museum of the Year Award.

Bookmaker Sean Graham has given the recently restored Belfast-based ship, which saw service in the First World War, odds of 4-7 in the hotly-contested competition.

The city dock attraction joins four other high-profile venues in the running for the accolade, going up against Nottingham Contemporary, which has been given odds of 2-1, St Fagan's National Museum of History in Cardiff (4-1), V&A Dundee and the Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford, (both ranked at 6-1).

The winning entrant, announced at a ceremony held in the Science Museum in London this evening, will receive £100,000. The runners-up will each receive £10,000 in recognition of their achievements.

The Art Fund prize aims to champion what museums do and encourage more people to experience what makes a truly outstanding museum.

To read more click here on the last floating survivor of the 1916 Battle of Jutland.

Published in Historic Boats

#historicboats - A World War One warship HMS Caroline has been shortlisted for the 2019 Art Fund Museum of the Year award.

The Belfast-based vessel reports BBC News will compete against four other UK museums for the prestigious prize, worth £100,000.

HMS Caroline is the Royal Navy's sole surviving ship from the 1916 Battle of Jutland, the biggest sea battle of the conflict.

The warship opened to the public as a museum on the centenary of the battle.

Built in 1914 in Birkenhead in England, HMS Caroline was one of the fastest warships of its time.

The Battle of Jutland - off the coast of Denmark - involved some 250 ships from the Royal Navy's Grand Fleet and the German High Seas Fleet.

More than 8,500 sailors lost their lives in the 12-hour battle on 31 May and 1 June 1916.

After the war, HMS Caroline was berthed in Belfast as a training ship, but also saw service in World War Two.

More on this story can be read here.

Published in Historic Boats

#marinescience - RV Corystes, Northern Ireland's research vessel is currently berthed in Belfast Harbour in support of the NI Science Festival.

RV Corystes operated by the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute (AFBI) is docked on Queen’s Quay, downriver from central Belfast along the north banks of the River Lagan. The vessel had been open to public visits, however there is so much more involved in the annual NI Science Festival which began events last week and continues until 24 February. 

There is over 180 events (including those for families to enjoy) and spread across more then 50 venues. A wide range of stimulating events will be available to focus on the wonders of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. 

Also according to the festival website, during the day there will be a range of workshops, talks and interactive activities for young people, parents and schools. As for evening events, there will be an eclectic mix of scientific debate, talks, theatres, comedy, music and film for adults.

What about the HMS Caroline’s KS2 Schools programme which offers a range of STEM-themed packages throughout the month of February, for more details click here. 

On the festival's final day, 24 February, under the category Natural World, science and wildlife TV presenter Liz Bonnin will present Galapagos: Evolution and Global Change. In addition later that day, Liz will also present: The Problem with Plastics. 

For a list of all categories in the festival programme and events details and how to book click here in addition to visiting their facebook page.

Published in Marine Science

#MaritimeFestivals - A month-long festival in Belfast Harbour is to start in the end of March at the Titanic Quarter.

Dockside Festival runs from 27 March to 20 April and as The Irish News reports the festival will be held in the Alexandra Dock & Wharf and on- board the visitor centre HMS Caroline.

Children can enjoy activity trails, arts and crafts while adults can avail of film screenings in the ship's Drill Hall as well as a series of lectures.

Over the Easter holiday there will be Woolly Workshops where children can make their own pom pom bunnies and carete a Blucher the Rabbit headdress.

Films being shown in HMS Caroline’s Drill Hall will include The Goonies (PG) on Friday April 13 and Piranha (18) on Friday April 20.

Jamie Wilson, General Manager at HMS Caroline, said the Pump House visitor centre "adds to what is already truly a captivating and enjoyable day of maritime adventure”.

HMS Caroline is operated by The National Museum of the Royal Navy and is the world’s last remaining floating survivor from the Battle of Jutland in 1916. Moored in Belfast since 1924, over the past four years HMS Caroline has been fully restored and fitted out with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund in Northern Ireland.

For a list of the festival highlights and dates, click here.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#BelfastLough - A surprise visit by Sir Kenneth Branagh was made to HMS Caroline in Belfast Harbour on Tuesday - surprising a group of movie-goers who were on board to watch his turn in the Oscar nominated Dunkirk.

The actor reports The Belfast Telegraph is in the city to be awarded the Freedom of Belfast at a special ceremony at the Ulster Hall.

Ahead of the event, the Belfast-born star visited the historic vessel which was screening the movie as part of the pop-up Branagh in Belfast film festival.

Mr Branagh enjoyed a short tour of the HMS Caroline, before giving a very special welcome to those on board for the movie screening.

Jamie Wilson, General Manager for HMS Caroline, The National Museum of the Royal Navy spoke of the team’s delight to welcome Mr Branagh to the WW1 vessel.

He said: “It has been a pleasure welcoming Mr Branagh to see this piece of living history, and of course, give our visitors today a fantastic surprise ahead of their special Dunkirk screening.”

The celebration event at the Ulster Hall will highlight Branagh’s long and productive artistic and charitable connection to the city, where he was born and lived until the age of nine.

Writing in the programme for the ceremony, Branagh said: “My Belfast childhood was characterised by Freedom. Here was a city, a big city to my child’s eyes that always felt like a village.

“It seemed like you couldn’t get lost. Everyone knew you or someone who knew you. In the landscape, the Cavehill seemed to wrap itself around you protectively from one side, and the shipyard raised the strong arms of its cranes from the other.

“You could see and feel the limits of where you lived, and you knew exactly who you were – Belfast, working class, proud.”

To read much more on the visit by the actor and film director to his beloved city, click here.

Published in Belfast Lough

#HMScaroline - An historic ship with a wartime past that is a modern day Belfast tourist attraction has had its future secured thanks to a major programme of innovative repairs, safety upgrades and improvements.

As the Belfast Telegraph writes, HMS Caroline, the only survivor of the First World War Battle of Jutland, is now nearly ship-shape and Bristol fashion again and ready to reopen to the public, who visited it in their thousands last year.

The ship underwent extensive repairs over the winter and engineers came up with an ingenious solution to the problem of how to make it even safer for visitors.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy said it was one of the most innovative engineering projects seen in Ireland, and it is nearing completion at Alexandra Dock in Belfast.

The ship was fully restored and opened to the public in May 2016 with £15,086,100 backing from the Heritage Lottery Fund and £4,518,000 support from Tourism NI.

But repairs were needed to the hull and they have been carried out by Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries.

 At the same time a hugely-complex permanent mooring system to make the ship safe for the public and also to protect it from lateral movements as it floats on the rising and falling tides is now close to completion. For more on the return of the floating tourist attraction, click here.

Published in Historic Boats
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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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