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Displaying items by tag: Kinsale Yacht Club

There were great starts for the host club's Elan 40 Chancer (Brian Carroll) and Denis Murphy's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo from Royal Cork in the inaugural Inishtearaght Race from Kinsale this morning in the brand new Irish offshore yacht race fixture along the Cork and Kerry coasts.

An entry of seven boats started a new chapter in West Cork offshore yacht racing just after 9 am when the small but competitive fleet crossed the Kinsale Yacht Club line.

Cian McCarthy's two-handed Sunfast 3330 Cinnamon GirlCian McCarthy's two-handed Sunfast 3330 Cinnamon Girl Photo: Bob Bateman

The fleet, led by Chancer off the line, set out in 15-20 knot south-westerly conditions and light rain. Forecasts this morning indicate gusts to over 30-knots on the way to the Blasket Islands.

The single Dublin entry in the race is Royal St.George's J/122 Aurelia (Chris Power Smith) Photo: Bob BatemanThe single Dublin entry in the race is Royal St.George's J/122 Aurelia (Chris Power Smith) Photo: Bob Bateman

Unfortunately, the planned start using a Navy ship did not materialise due to the exigencies of the Naval Service but Club Race Officer Dave O'Sullivan got the fleet underway in a club vessel from the KYC's Charles fort startline inside Kinsale Harbour.

The fleet, led by Chancer off the line, set out in 15-20 knot south-westerly conditions and light rainThe Inishtearaght Race fleet set out in 15-20 knot south-westerly conditions and light rain Photo: Matthias Hellstern

As Afloat previously reported, the course is approximately 240nm long and will run along the spectacular south coast, round Inistearaght island and back to Kinsale.

The Elan 40 Chancer crewSoft day - The Elan 40 Chancer crew all wearing offshore gear in anticipation of a wet trip to the Blaskets Photo: Bob Bateman

The first boats in the Matthews Centre sponsored event are expected home sometime on Saturday evening but as competitor Brian Carroll told Afloat in a podcast here, the fleet is expecting quite a lot of challenging upwind sailing today. 

Cian McCarthy's Cinnamon Girl on starboard and Chris Power Smith's Aurelia on just port after the startCian McCarthy's Cinnamon Girl on starboard and Chris Power Smith's Aurelia on port after the start Photo: Bob Bateman

The Inishtearaght Race fleetThe Inishtearaght Race fleet emerge from Kinsale harbour with (from left) Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl, Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo, Elan 40 Chancer and Dublin Bay J/122 entry Aurelia to weather  Photo: Matthias HellsternThe breeze is on for (from left) Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo, Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl and Dublin Bay J/122 entry Aurelia to weather  Photo: Matthis HellsternThe breeze is on for (from left) Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo, Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl and Dublin Bay J/122 entry Aurelia to weather  Photo: Matthias Hellstern

The Thuillier family have kindly allowed the oldest trophy in Kinsale YC to be presented as the line honours trophy for the race. The Thuillier Cup is 150 years old, having been originally presented by the Royal Enniskillen Fusiliers in 1871 and won by Michael Thuillier. The cup was presented to Kinsale YC by the Thuillier family to acknowledge the long tradition of yacht racing in Kinsale.

Noel Coleman's Oyster 37 Blue Oyster from  Royal Cork YC on her way to the Blaskets Photo: Bob BatemanNoel Coleman's Oyster 37 Blue Oyster from Royal Cork YC on her way to the Blaskets Photo: Bob Bateman

The inaugural Inishtearaght Race fleetThe inaugural Inishtearaght Race fleet

Bob Bateman's Inishearaght Race Start Photo Gallery below

Published in Inistearaght Race

One of the country’s leading marinas will become unusable for keelboats unless urgent action is taken to address increasing silting in the harbour area writes David Forsythe in West Cork

Kinsale-based Fine Gael councillor Kevin Murphy told the recent meeting of Cork County Council’s Western Division that the issue was among the most serious he had ever had to bring to the attention of the council.

“The story is that Kinsale Harbour itself has severe silting at the yacht marina and around pier head itself. A substantial number of the keelboats are bottoming out now. This is a very serious issue and a very expensive one to sort out because there is a substantial dredging to be done,” he said.

Matthias Hellstern, Commodore of the Kinsale Yacht Club said that the issue had become much more serious in the last few years and the rate of silting in Kinsale Harbour seemed to be increasing.
“During Covid there was obviously a lot less activity at the marina and in the harbour in general because of the restrictions. It has been happening over a number of years but seems to be getting much worse now. It is something that we really need to address urgently,” he said.

Matthias Hellstern, Commodore of the Kinsale Yacht ClubMatthias Hellstern, Commodore of the Kinsale Yacht Club Photo: Bob Bateman

The 200 berth marina brings in some 3,500 visiting boat nights to the town every year contributing an estimated €525,000 to the local economy according to the yacht club’s own estimates. A non-profit organisation run by volunteers, it is one of only three yacht clubs in the country that owns its own marina, the others being Howth Yacht Club and the Royal Cork Yacht Club in Crosshaven.
“We have visitors coming from France, the UK, Spain, Germany, the USA and all around Ireland,” said Matthias Hellstern, “and we run also run national and international sailing championships which we could not do without the marina facility.”

The KYC is due to host the upcoming Squib UK National Championships, Dragon Gold Cup and also hosts the biennial Sovereign’s Cup, but silting is already causing problems for events in Kinsale.
“We hosted the April Spring series recently and we were having yachts running aground at low tide,” said Matthias, “they simply couldn’t get out of the marina and obviously that’s a serious problem.”
Mr Hellstern said that already about 25% of the marina was not useable for keelboats at low tide.

Marina pontoons at Kinsale Harbour A KYC Marina pontoon at Kinsale Harbour Photo: David Forsythe

“At the moment we can move things around a bit. The berths furthest from the channel are most affected so we can put power boats, boats without keels in there for the time being but as the silting gets worse more and more of the marina will be affected.”

Cllr Kevin Murphy said that silting was affecting other users of the harbour as well across leisure, fishing and commercial sectors.

“We have to at all times ensure Kinsale continues being useable for leisure and also commercial and fishing, it’s all three. The Kinsale Yacht Club will help out with a survey that needs to be done on the silting and I would expect that the county council will also chip in if we can to help out in their endeavours to get that done as soon as possible.”

The 200 berth Kinsale Yacht Club marina(Above and below) The 200 berth Kinsale Yacht Club marina brings in some 3,500 visiting boat nights to the town every year contributing an estimated €525,000 to the local economy Photos: Bob Bateman

The 200 berth Kinsale Yacht Club marina

Cllr Murphy said that he would put down a notice of motion at the next municipal district meeting to have all of the stakeholders attend a meeting at Kinsale Yacht Club, “to make sure this is addressed as soon as possible”.

Responding to Cllr Murphy, Kevin Morey, Director of Water Services at Cork County Council said, “We will engage just to take stock and see what is the issue there. From your description, it sounds like it might be quite a significant one and we are aware from other locations that that could bring us into quite complex and protracted processes. Let’s start looking first and take stock so we’ll get back to you on that and arrange some kind of assessment on site.”

Published in Kinsale

The idea for the Inishtearaght Race originated because Kinsale sailors thought that the best and most scenic part of the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race is west of Kinsale. So what about a race from Kinsale around the Blaskets and back to Kinsale?

It was discussed at the club, so the first race around the Blaskets, organised by Kinsale Yacht Club, will start this Friday morning.

Two new trophies await the winners of IRC and ECHO and there is a special older trophy reserved for the boat which takes line honours.

Royal Cork's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo is entered for Friday's Inishtearaght Race Royal Cork's Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo is entered for Friday's Inishtearaght Race Photo: Bob Bateman

Brian Carroll will be racing on Chancer, the boat of the Carroll Brothers that currently leads the IRC 1 and ECHO 1 fleet in Kinsale’s early Summer cruiser club series.

Cian McCarthy's Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl from the host club will race in Friday's InishtearaghtCian McCarthy's double-handed Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl is one of four boats from the host club that will race in Friday's Inishtearaght fixture

2022 Kinsale Matthews Inishtearaght Race EntriesThe inaugural seven boat fleet for Kinsale Yacht Club's Inistearaght offshore yacht race

He says it is probably a “bit early for offshore racing” and expects that there will be “quite a bit of beating to the Blaskets and, unfortunately, probably part of the way back as well.”

Chris Power Smith's J122 Aurelia from the Royal St. George is the only Dublin Bay Boat racing to InishtearaghtChris Power Smith's J122 Aurelia from the Royal St. George is the only Dublin Bay Boat racing to Inishtearaght

That will make it a testing and challenging task for the crews.

Brian Carroll is my guest on this week’s Podcast.

Published in Tom MacSweeney

MarJ skippered by Adrian Bendon was the overall winner of the 13-boat Dragon class in Kinsale Yacht Club's Robotic Mowers sponsored Open Keelboat Regatta 2022 sailed at the weekend.

With three race wins from six races sailed, Bendon on seven nett points had a clear six-point margin over second overall James Matthews at the helm of TBD. In third place was Cameron Good's Little Fella with 16 points. 

Scroll down for Bob Bateman's Photo Gallery from the KYC Open Keelboat Regatta 2022

The fleet, under Race Officer John Stallard, included a strong showing from the host club and took the top five positions overall with representation from other West Cork clubs too including Glandore Harbour Yacht Club. 

1st place Dragon overall - Mar J - Adrian Bendon, Eoghan O'Neill, Eoghan O’Mahony & Tristan Bendon with sponsor Fergal O’Hanlon of Robotic Mowers 1st place Dragon overall - Mar J - Adrian Bendon, Eoghan O'Neill, Eoghan O’Mahony & Tristan Bendon with sponsor Fergal O’Hanlon of Robotic Mowers 

In a prestigious role, the club will host the International Dragon Gold Cup at the club in 2024.

Squibs

Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan were the winners of a three-boat Squib fleetIan Travers and Keith O'Riordan were the winners of a three-boat Squib fleet

On four points, Ian Travers and Keith O'Riordan were the winners of a three-boat Squib fleet after five races sailed. 

Second was Denis and Brid Cudmore in Sensation on seven points with Sonata in third.

Bob Bateman's Photo Gallery from the KYC Open Keelboat Regatta 2022

Results are here

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

The overall lead changed in three of four classes after the final race of Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Private Clients Spring Series on Saturday.

Ending in West Cork style, the wind filled in, the sun came out and the dolphins put on a magical show for the fourth and final race that also counts towards SCORA series points.

Light southwesterly winds of five knots led KYC Race Officer Donal Hayes to lay a weather mark followed by racing around existing club marks in the outer harbour before a reach to an in harbour finish.

Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Private Clients Spring SeriesKinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Private Clients Spring Series winners Photo: Bob Bateman

IRC 0 and 1 Fleet

J/109 'Artful DodJer skippered by Kinsale's Finbarr O'Regan was the Zero/One class winnerJ/109 'Artful DodJer skippered by Kinsale's Finbarr O'Regan was the Zero/One class winner Photo: Bob Bateman

Last week's third overall yacht, the J/109 'Artful DodJer skippered by Kinsale's Finbarr O'Regan took the overall IRC prize following a race win in yesterday's last race but only by the tightest of points as the top three all finished on six nett points overall.

One time leader Reavra Too, an Elan 333 skippered by Stephen Lysaght was second overall with RCYC's J/122 1Jelly Baby (Brian Jones) third in the seven boat fleet.

IRC 2 Fleet

Overall IRC winner Royal Cork Albin Express North Star skippered by Fiona Young to weather of clubmates and second overall Conor Phelan's Anchor ChallengeOverall IRC winner Royal Cork Albin Express North Star skippered by Fiona Young to weather of clubmates and second overall Conor Phelan's Anchor Challenge Photo: Bob Bateman

The final race brought no changes to the overall standings in IRC Two. With three straight wins, the Royal Cork Albin Express North Star skippered by Fiona Young was the clear winner on three points in the six-boat IRC Two fleet ahead of clubmate Conor Phelan's Farr Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge on six. 

Third was Kieran Kelleher/Colman Garvey's Dubois Quarter Tonner, Diamond on seven points.

White Sails 1 Echo Fleet

Mike MacCarthy's Royal Cork Dehler 40, JolastanMike McCarthy's Royal Cork Dehler 40, Jolastan Photo: Bob Bateman

After four races sailed, Batt and Helen O'Leary took the six-boat White Sails 1 Echo Fleet in Sweet Dreams, a Sun Odyssey 36 but it was a tightly fought battle with Mike McCarthy's Royal Cork Dehler 40, Jolastan second on the same six points.  Third was James Matthews' Fiscala on nine.

White Sails 2 Echo Fleet

Sam Cohen's First 32, Gunsmoke 2Sam Cohen's First 32, Gunsmoke 2 Photo: Bob Bateman

Leading the seven-boat fleet is Sam Cohen's First 32, Gunsmoke 2 on five points. Dermot Lanigan's Dufour 365 Privateer was second on seven. Nigel Dann and Vincent Murphy's First 345 Val Kriss took third also on seven

See full results here

Kinsale Yacht Club Spring League Race Four Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

A competitive eight boat fleet is building in Kinsale for the inaugural Matthews Inishtearaght Race taking place in less than a month's time. 

The race, promoted as an 'ideal shakedown race' for boats entering June's Round Ireland Race, has attracted top Dublin J/122 Aurelia from the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

Having only narrowly missed out on overall Round Ireland race victory previously, Chris Power Smith's potent ISORA entry is showing the depth of the Dun Laoghaire crew's ambitions by taking on the new Kinsale offshore challenge.

As Afloat already reported, the race will take the fleet along the coast of West Cork and Kerry, around Inishtearaght and return to finish in Kinsale.

Cian McCarthy's Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl from the host club will race in May's InishtearaghtCian McCarthy's Sunfast 3300 Cinnamon Girl from the host club will race in May's Inishtearaght Race Photo: Dave Cullinane

The starting times are planned so that boats would stand the best chance of rounding the island in daylight.

The race was formally launched last December by KYC Commodore Matthias Hellstern. The first race will be sponsored by Matthews of Cork.

The course will be approximately 240nm long and will run along the spectacular coast of West Cork and Kerry, round Inistearaght and back to Kinsale. 

KYC Inishtearaght Race Current Entry List (April 24th)

Boat Name

Owner/Help

Boat Type

Club

Blue Oyster

Noel Colman

Oyster 37

Royal Cork YC

Cinnamon Girl

Cian McCarthy

Sunfast 3300

Kinsale YC

Mynx

Kenneth Cunnane

Swan 46

Tralee Bay SC

Chancer

Carroll Bros

Elan 40

Kinsale YC

White Tiger

Tony O’Brien

First 44.7

Kinsale YC

Aurelia

Chris & Patanne Power Smith

J/122

Royal St.George YC, RORC

Humdinger

John Conlon

Jeanneau Sunfast 37

Arklow SC

Meridian

Tom Roche

Salona 45

Kinsale YC

 

Sailing Instructions for the race will be available shortly.

The inaugural Matthews Inishtearaght Race takes place on Friday 20th May with FG 08.55hrs

Published in Kinsale

Local yachts are back in charge at the top of the IRC One fleet after two races sailed in the Kinsale Yacht Club's Axiom Private Clients Spring Series in West Cork.

The wind for the second race of the series, after last week's cancellation, was flukey, up and down in strength and the race began in lighter winds.

Race Officer Donal Hayes laid a weather mark and then used fixed marks outside the harbour and finished at the club line off Charles Fort.

Race Officer Donal HayesRace Officer Donal Hayes set the course (below) Photos: Bob Bateman

Kinsale Yacht Club Race Course

Such was the nature of wind race two featured a lot of reaching with limited upwind or spinnaker work.

IRC 1 Fleet

The start of IRC Zero and One Photo: Bob BatemanThe start of IRC Zero and One Photo: Bob Bateman

New Royal Cork yachts that enjoyed debut success in the first race of the seven boat fleet a fortnight ago have been replaced by the recent Frank Godsell Series winner Reavra Too, an Elan 333 skippered by Stephen Lysaght. Second is the host club's Finbarr O'Regan in the J/109 'Artful DodJer'.

Third overall is the Royal Cork yacht of the year, the Grand Soleil 40 Nieulargo (Annamarie & Denis Murphy).

IRC 2 Fleet

The Royal Cork Albin Express North Star skippered by Fiona Young was a clear winner in the six-boat IRC Two fleet beating Conor Phelan's Farr Quarter Tonner Anchor Challenge. Third is Waterford Harbour's Sigma 33 Flyover (David Marchant). 

White Sails 1 Echo Fleet

After two races sailed, Batt & Helen O'Leary lead the six-boat White Sails 1 Echo Fleet in Sweet Dreams, a Sun Odyssey 36 from new arrival Mike MacCarthy's Royal Cork Dehler 40, Jolastan. Third is Tony Scannell's Hanse 370, Hansemer.

White Sails 2 Echo Fleet

The Beneteau First 345 Val Kriss (Nigel Dann VincentMurphy) leads Albert O'Neill's Feeling 326 Sallybelle. Third in the seven-boat fleet is Sam Cohen's First 32, Gunsmoke 2.

See full results here

Bob Bateman's Kinsale Yacht Club Axiom Spring Series Race Two Photo Gallery

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

Wednesday, May 4, has been set as the start date for Midweek Sailing at Kinsale Yacht Club in Cork.

Dragons and Squibs will have their own racing on Thursdays.

The club committee has told members: "We have an amazing amount of sponsorship this year."

51 boats have so far entered for the Squib Nationals at Kinsale and 60 "are anticipated," according to the Regatta Director, Ian Travers.

"The First Gun for the Bandon Co-op Squib Nationals is now a little over two months away. With 51 boats already entered, and 60 anticipated, the club will be sure to be buzzing over the week-long Championships. On the water, the nine race schedule over six days will be managed by the ever-supportive Peter Crowley and a full social programme will keep competitors entertained when ashore."

The Bandon Co-op Squib Nationals runs from the 19th to the 24th of June.

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

Racing in the second race of the Axiom Private Clients Spring Series for sailing cruisers at Kinsale was cancelled today due to inclement weather.

An attempt was made to stage racing, but there was difficulty in getting the anchor to hold on the Kinsale Yacht Club Race Committee vessel.

Training went ahead for Topper dinghies in the harbour regardless, with some cruisers also venturing out.

In addition, there was a range of watersports and other activities underway at the West Cork port, as captured below by Bob Bateman.

Published in Kinsale
Tagged under

The Robotic Mowers Cork One-Design Keelboat Regatta is on Sunday 1st and Monday 2nd May 2022 in Kinsale Yacht Club.

The regatta is open to Squib and Dragon keelboats. It is an open event and KYC is looking forward to welcoming entrants from Glandore Harbour Yacht Club.

Six races are scheduled over the two days, and they will be sailed in the waters between the Old Head and the Sovereign Islands.

Download the NOR below.

Published in Kinsale
Page 2 of 23

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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