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Displaying items by tag: Marine Institute

The Marine Institute has held an “Energy Awareness Day” to mark the launch of its Climate Action Roadmap.

This is part of the institute’s five-year strategy — Ocean Knowledge that Informs and Inspires — which sets a new vision and mission for the Marine Institute and identifies eight strategic priorities for the period 2023-2027.

Sustainability and climate is to the core of the strategy, it says, which gives priority to the delivery of the Climate Action Roadmap.

The Marine Institute boasts that combined efforts of staff have resulted in a 41% energy reduction in its Galway headquarters since 2015, improvements in waste management and energy management measures across its fleet of research vessels, including the RV Celtic Explorer and RV Tom Crean — the latter of which replaces the RV Celtic Voyager, now en route to its new home in northern Canada.

Other efforts include becoming a supporter of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, promotion of energy and sustainability awareness, and the commencement of My Green Lab certification in 2022.

Patricia Orme is director of corporate services at the Marine Institute and also serves as its ‘Climate and Sustainability Champion’ and energy performance officer.

She said: “The improvements already achieved are immense and are the result of the combined efforts of Colleagues across the Marine Institute. I look forward to seeing continual progress as we work through the projects detailed in the Climate Action Roadmap.”

A number of activities also took place during the Energy Awareness Day to recognise the energy savings achieved by the Marine Institute and how staff can continue to ‘get greener’ at work and home.

Staff participated in demonstrations of sustainable practices from Optimising Power@Work, household WEEE (Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment) collection, wildflower seed giveaways and tours of the recently upgraded boilers in the plant room.

Published in Environment

Scoil Chaitríona Junior in the Galway city suburb of Renmore has been crowned the national winner of the Explorers Ocean Champion School Awards 2023 for the Healthy Ocean project, ‘Caring for our Ocean’.

It marks the second year the prize has gone to a Galway school, with the 2022 gong presented to Scoil Iósaif Naofa, Oranmore Boys National School.

The Renmore primary pupils applied marine themes (environmental care, cleaning up litter, looking after the animals in the ocean) across many different subjects throughout the year, from the sciences through to music and the arts.

They shared stories about the ocean with a primary school in France, performed at the Marino Institute of Further Education in Dublin and at the Féile Scoildrámaíochta inter-school drama competition.

“We were also extremely impressed with the school’s collaboration and engagement where the teachers and children worked with marine scientists from ATU to learn about seaweed and birdlife, and with artists through the Teacher Artist Partnership, as well as meeting with other marine educators,” said Mick Gillooly, interim CEO of the Marine Institute.

“These children stood out for their eagerness to learn about the animals in the ocean, and for sharing what they learnt with their community about protecting and caring for the ocean.

“Bringing the topic of marine conservation to local, national and international platforms shows an incredible amount of commitment from the staff, children and their parents.”

Congratulating the children, teachers and the Explorers outreach team, Gillooly added: “The children’s enthusiasm was evident in many ways — in their shadow puppetry films, when they went on beach cleans, and in their musical performance ‘Fadhb na Mara’ about ocean conservation. Their work was exceptional.”

On behalf of the teachers, school principal Caitríona Daly said the award recognised their school’s commitment to learning about local areas — particularly their own seashore, Ballyloughane Beach. “We’re also delighted to have received an EU Blue Schools Award,” Daly said. “This award recognises the school’s effort to becoming ocean literate and for being an ocean champion!”

Twenty-eight coastal schools participated in this year’s competition, creating healthy ocean school projects based on themes including marine STEAM, ocean literacy, Sustainable Development Goals, and ocean and marine outdoor education.

“Each school showed incredible initiative by using cross-curricular content in support of the curriculum framework that introduces key competencies for children’s learning. These projects certainly show how the ocean can be used for thematic learning and how a healthy ocean is relevant to daily life,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, strategic education and communications manager of the Explorers Education Programme.

The Healthy Ocean school project and Ocean Champion Awards are organised through the Explorers Education Programme and the latter is the only ocean-themed award for primary schools in Ireland. It recognises the effort, commitment and collaboration of school management boards, teachers, children and the Explorer outreach officers who have engaged in the all-school, marine-themed project.

Published in Environment

The Marine Institute, alongside the Explorers Education Programme for primary schools, will be showcasing marine science at the 2023 Galway Science and Technology Festival this weekend.

Families are invited to the Bailey Allen Hall on the University of Galway campus on Sunday 12 November to learn more about Ireland’s shark species.

“We greatly enjoy the opportunity provided every year by the Galway Science and Technology Festival to highlight the work we do here at the Marine Institute, and to showcase in particular the Explorers Education Programme,” said Patricia Orme, director of corporate services at the Marine Institute.

“The event is perfect for fostering an interest in marine science in children and adults alike. With this year’s focus on sharks, we hope families will enjoy learning more about these fascinating creatures.”

Celebrating the launch of Explorers’ new children’s information book Fin-tastic Sharks: An Introduction to Elasmobranchs, the team will be sharing stories of the wonders of sharks from around the world to those found in Irish waters.

“We all know that children love sharks, skates and rays,” said Cushla Dromgool-Regan, strategic education and communications manager of the Explorers Education Programme. “The Explorers team is very excited about examining the jaws of the great white shark, to the giant teeth of the megalodon and to also learn about the super powers of many different shark species closer to home.”

A still from video captured of the shark nursery in deep waters off the West of Ireland during the SeaRover ROV survey in 2018 | Credit: Marine InstituteA still from video captured of the shark nursery in deep waters off the West of Ireland during the SeaRover ROV survey in 2018 | Credit: Marine Institute

Ireland’s ocean resource is the perfect refuge for endangered species, such as the world’s second largest shark, the basking shark, the common stingray and the white skate which is critically endangered.

Dromgool-Regan added: “Seventy-one species of sharks, skates, rays and chimaeras are found in Irish waters. This is over half the number of all of these species in Europe. This highlights the importance of the collaborative work of the scientists at the Marine Institute who work with other scientists, fishers and local communities to help establish [the status of] sharks, skates and rays in Irish waters.”

The Explorers team will also be displaying lots of shark biofacts and some of their favourite sharks, including baby lesser spotted dogfish and shark egg cases, also known as mermaid purses.

Families will have the opportunity to learn more about the 2018 discovery of an extremely rare shark nursery. Very large numbers of mermaid’s purses were observed on the sea floor at depths of 750 metres. Such large concentrations are very uncommon, indicating that females may gather in this area on the seafloor to lay their eggs.

Video footage of an extremely rare angelshark sighting in Rinville during the summer by some student kayaking enthusiasts will also be on display.

The Marine Institute’s exhibition ‘The Wild Atlantic – Sea Science' is also open at the Galway City Museum. Free to visitors, the gallery features seabed mapping, amazing scientific discoveries and creatures of the deep. In the ROV (remotely operated vehicle) simulator, explore ocean depths like a marine scientist and discover cold-water corals, shipwrecks and a rare shark nursery.

For more information on the 2023 Galway Science and Technology Festival programme and to register for free event tickets, visit It’s sure to be a fin-tastic day out for the whole family!

Published in Marine Wildlife

Maritime TV documentary North Atlantic: The Dark Ocean has been awarded the Grand Prix Best Film of Festival Award at the Wildlife Film Festival Rotterdam, besting the likes of BBC’s Our Frozen Planet.

As previously reported on, the natural history series supported by the Marine Institute follows Irish underwater cameraman Ken O’Sullivan as he searches the North Atlantic waters around Ireland for some of the largest marine wildlife ever to have lived, including fin and sei whales, killer whales and courtship aggregations of massive basking sharks.

The series was broadcast in May of this year to what RTE describes as “an incredibly positive public response”.

In presenting the award to Ken O’Sullivan, the judging panel said: “Myths about sea monsters have long shaped our exploitation and maltreatment of marine life. The film that wins the Flamingo Grand Prix 2023 debunks those myths with solid knowledge and, by showing the grandeur and beauty of ocean life, it makes you realise this should be loved and protected.

“The film is an epic voyage of discovery. Free diving along with the filmmaker himself, you actually come face-to-face with a multitude of sea creatures, ranging from sprat, herring, basking sharks to killer whales, common dolphins and fin whales. All lovingly portrayed in with great craftsmanship and years of experience.

“This engaging filmmaker grabs you and takes you down into the dark waters surrounding Ireland. We — the jury — all held our breath until the end.”

Published in Maritime TV

The Marine Institute recently hosted a Birdwatch Ireland training workshop for the winter Irish Wetland Bird Survey (I-WeBS).

The event was attended by 65 people and was used as a mechanism to introduce attendees to I-WeBS with a view to attracting prospective surveyors to the programme.

The workshop comprised lectures at the Marine Institute headquarters in Rinville, Oranmore and fieldwork on the surrounding shoreline of Galway Bay.

Welcoming attendees to the event, Francis O’Beirn of the Marine Institute said: “The Marine Institute is located adjacent to the inner Galway Bay Special Protection Area which is an extremely important bird site.

“The I-WeBS programme is a National monitoring programme to count over-wintering shorebird species and is hugely important to the management of this and other Natura sites in Ireland.

“Furthermore, these important data are also used by the Marine Institute in their advisory role to the Department of Agriculture and Marine.”

Birdwatch Ireland said it was delighted with the “record attendance at the event highlighting the public appetite to support biodiversity”.

Published in Marine Wildlife

The annual Irish Groundfish Survey (IGFS) for 2023 will be carried out by the Marine Institute off the North West, West and South Coasts of Ireland from Tuesday 31 October to Saturday 16 December.

The IGFS is a demersal trawl survey consisting of approximately 170 fishing hauls of 30-minute duration each in ICES areas VIa, VIIb, VIIg and VIIj.

Fishing will take place within a two-nautical-mile radius of the positions indicated in the appendices to Marine Notice No 68 of 2023, which can be downloaded below.

The survey will be conducted by the RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) which will display appropriate lights and signals. The vessel will be towing a high headline GOV 36/47 demersal trawl during fishing operations.

The Marine Institute requests that commercial fishing and other marine operators keep a two-nautical-mile area around the tow mid-points clear of any gear or apparatus during the survey period outlined above.

Further details can be found in the Marine Notice attached below.

Published in Fishing

The final meeting of JPI Oceans Joint Action on ‘Ecological Aspects of Microplastics’ was held in Galway on 14-15 September, as previously reported on

During the two-day event hosted by the Marine Institute, research teams from the six funded JPI Oceans projects detailed their findings and summarised the impacts and outputs of the projects — including scientific publications, education materials, policy briefings for stakeholders and monitoring tools.

The combination of warming sea temperatures, ocean acidification and the accumulation of microplastics represents a substantial threat to marine life and ecosystems and, potentially, to human health.

Microfibres and microplastics are everywhere in the marine environment, with particles from car tyres and cigarette butts as being of particular concern, owing to their toxicity.

Over time, microplastic particles degrade and particles become smaller and are much more difficult to measure. Studies show that biofilms that form on these microplastic particles — termed the “plastisphere” — harbour viruses and microorganisms with unknown impacts on organisms that consume them.

Another study described how jellyfish species may serve as a good indicator of the level of microplastics pollution based on the accumulation of ingested plastic found in jellyfish samples, although further research is also needed to determine the long-term effects on jellyfish in terms of their growth and reproductive functioning.

Attendees at the recent final meeting of JPI Oceans Joint Action on ‘Ecological Aspects of Microplastics’, hosted by the Marine Institute in Galway on 14-15 SeptemberAttendees at the recent final meeting of JPI Oceans Joint Action on ‘Ecological Aspects of Microplastics’, hosted by the Marine Institute in Galway on 14-15 September

The meeting also provided an opportunity to connect the research outputs with key EU initiatives addressing plastic pollution.

In the first session of the meeting, John Hanus, the European Commission’s director general of innovation, and Luis Francisco Ruiz-Orejon of the Commission’s Joint Research Centre detailed the data gathered on marine litter and microplastics to date and the importance of the joint effort from research and monitoring teams across Europe continuing to ensure the ‘Good Environmental Status’ of our oceans.

Furthermore, potential cooperation opportunities between JPI Oceans-funded research partners and the European Commission were presented by highlighting the activities of the EU Mission ‘Restore our Ocean and Waters’ and a range of existing and forthcoming EU legislation to tackle the problem of marine litter.

Dr Niall McDonough, chair of JPI Oceans and director of policy, innovation and research services at the Marine Institute said: “This meeting was a great success. The researchers presented the results of almost a decade of work on the sources, spread and impacts of microplastic pollution in the marine environment.

“This issue has only come to the fore in the past 15 years and we are playing catch-up in terms of the science and the measures we can take to address the problem.

“The meeting also demonstrated the key role that JPI Oceans plays in bringing the best international experts together to conduct cutting-edge research that has a direct benefit to society. I congratulate the research teams on their outstanding work. But they also gave us a clear message that there is a lot more to do.”

Published in Marine Science

The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme team recently took part in the launch of a series of new primary-school education resources, Explorers: Turtle Talk with Sea Turtles, at their recent team training held in Laois.

Patricia Orme, corporate services director with the Marine Institute, congratulated the Explorers team involved in creating the resources.

“The books, presentations, and short videos all provide teachers with practical content to help develop children’s competencies,” she said. “It is also great to see that themes that explore how to help reduce plastics in the ocean and how to mitigate climate change are keenly promoted throughout the sea turtle books.”

The resource pack is freely available to download from the Explorers website and supports cross-curricular teaching, STEM and learning about Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It includes creating turtle words and mind-maps, writing poems and songs and describing a turtle’s life cycle, as well as making tote bags and turtle toys from recycled fabrics.

“It is also wonderful to see the Explorers outreach team’s enthusiasm for creating five life-size sea-turtles ‘far from open water’,” Orme added.

“The five turtles — leatherback, loggerhead, Kemp’s Ridley, hawksbill and green — are now being spotted around the country, inspiring sea turtle madness and mayhem. I am sure we will see many more of these magnificent animals being created in the classrooms, inspiring new stories and adventures.”

‘Scientists now understand that leatherback turtles are long-distance seasonal visitors to Irish waters’

Explorers: Turtle Talk with Sea Turtles is packed with information and facts, and takes the teachers and children on a journey of species identification, habitats, location and lifecycle. It also follows the journey of the five species that have been recorded in Irish waters — some caught in ocean currents and others that purposefully come to Ireland to track their favourite food: jellyfish.

Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Explorers programme and lead author of the information books, workbooks and presentations, said that she is “delighted with the uptake of the books and eagerness of the outreach team, teachers and children who are planning to use these resources to learn more about the ocean over the next term.

“The books are full of descriptive fun facts and information about sea turtles from around the world that will fascinate children and teachers alike.

“Scientists now understand that leatherbacks are long-distance seasonal visitors to Irish waters, migrating to temperate waters to feed and returning to their native waters to mate and to nest. The largest leatherback ever recorded was a male, washed ashore in Wales in 1988, weighing in at 916 kg. It measured almost 3m overall and 2.5m across the span of its front flippers,” Dromgool-Regan said.

All turtles found in EU waters are strictly protected under the Habitats Directive, which aims to conserve rare and threatened species. Six of the seven species around the world are under threat and now face extinction, and are listed as either ‘vulnerable’, ‘endangered’ or ‘critically endangered’ on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List.

“Many individuals and organisations are helping to promote the conservation of these animals and the habitats in which they live,” Dromgool-Regan added. “Engagement at all levels is required to support these efforts. We all have an important role to play in changing our behaviour and caring for our environment, and it is wonderful to see children keen to take up this challenge.”

Published in Marine Science

Inland Fisheries Ireland’s West/North West team were the winners of 2023’s Annual Inter Agency Sea Angling Challenge.

Now in its 22nd year, the 2023 event took place in Clew Bay, Co Mayo on Friday 8 September with competitors representing IFI, the Marine Institute and other marine agencies.

The yearly event began in 2001 as an idea from staff of the two agencies. These friends and colleagues have been a part of the organising team since its inception, which has helped ensure participants have consistently high-quality angling options in the selected competition areas.

In addition to the relaxing hook and line fishing that takes place, the aims of the event are to provide an informal networking opportunity, increase and improve awareness of sea angling (particularly among newer staff) and provide opportunities to discuss issues within the sport.

Patricia Orme, director of corporate services at the Marine Institute said: “The annual angling challenge is a fantastic way for staff from multiple Irish marine agencies to build connections and learn more about the area of angling, all while taking part in some friendly competition. We hope to see the event continue for many more years.”

The social and educational event allows anglers to enjoy the productive marine waters off the coast of Ireland.

In recent years, teams have included current and former staff from IFI River Basin Districts, the Marine Institute and Sea Fisheries Protection Agency (SFPA). They have also been joined over the years by teams from Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and the Loughs Agency.

Published in Angling

The Department of Transport has been advised by Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) that the Marine Institute will undertake site investigation survey works at the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS) in Co Mayo.

The survey is expected to be completed over a 10-day period from Sunday 17 September, subject to weather and operational constraints.

Geophysical and geotechnical survey work and benthic sampling will be carried out at Test Area A, 16km from Belderra Strand, and Test Area B, 6km from Belderra Strand on the Erris Peninsula. Benthic sampling will be carried out along the proposed cable corridor at AMETS.

The survey vessel RV Celtic Explorer (callsign EIGB) will carry out the site investigation works. Throughout operations, the vessel will be displaying appropriate lights and shapes, and will also be restricted in its ability to manoeuvre.

Other vessels operating in the AMETS area are requested to give the survey vessel a wide berth during survey operations. Mariners are also advised to keep continuous watch on VHF Channel 16 when navigating the survey area at AMETS.

Coordinates and a map of the survey areas as well as contact details can be found in Marine Notice No 55 of 2023, attached below.

Published in Power From the Sea
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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.

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