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Displaying items by tag: Offshore Renewable Energy

Rosslare Europort and Souce Galileo have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the aim of achieving the common goal of developing the port as a key facilitator in the delivery of large-scale offshore wind farm projects in Irish coastal waters.

A redevelopment plan for Rosslare Europort to facilitate offshore wind farm construction, and associated operations and maintenance, is currently being progressed by Iarnród Éireann.

The State company wants to establish the port and its hinterland as an offshore renewable energy (ORE) hub, with the potential to create up to 2,000 jobs.

Source Galileo is developing 10GW of offshore wind projects off the coasts of Europe. In March the company secured funding from the Norwegian government to part-finance the development of its Goliat offshore wind project close to the Arctic Sea.

The Source Galileo MOU with Iarnród Éireann is non-exclusive.

Kevin Lynch, chief executive of Source Galileo, said: “Source Galileo is developing a portfolio of projects that will generate substantial clean renewable energy direct to homes and business across Ireland. We look forward to working with Iarnród Éireann.”

Rosslare Europort director Glenn Carr said: “We believe there are strong synergies to be achieved as we work together to place this renewable energy industry at the heart of Ireland’s decarbonised future.”

Late last year, Rosslare Europort formally applied for Marine Area Consent for its ORE hub plans, as previously reported on

Published in Power From the Sea

Offshore renewable energy will receive a boost with the EU’s decision to withdraw from the international Energy Charter Treaty, according to Ireland South MEP Seán Kelly.

The treaty, which dates back to 1998, was “designed to protect energy companies at the time, but has recently been viewed as an obstacle to modern policies to address climate change”, he says.

MEPs voted by 58 votes in favour, eight against and two abstentions to withdraw from the treaty at a joint meeting of the European Parliament’s trade and industry committees.

"The withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty is an important step that underscores the EU's commitment to fostering sustainable energy practices and mitigating climate change,"Kelly, who sits on both committees, noted.

"The outdated nature of the treaty hindered our ability to enact meaningful change in line with the Paris Agreement and impeded our progress towards achieving our climate and energy targets,"he said.

Once it became clear that the treaty could not be modernised, it made sense for the EU to leave it, Kelly noted.

The provisions of the international agreement “provided undue protection to fossil fuel investments, undermining our efforts to move towards renewable energy sources”, Kelly said.

"It is crucial that we maintain an equal playing field and provide flexibility for member states to adapt to the changing energy landscape," he stated.

The Energy Charter Treaty among 53 contracting parties was signed in 1994 and came into force in 1998.

Published in Power From the Sea

Powering Prosperity – Ireland’s Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, the first strategy of its kind for Ireland, aims to build a successful, vibrant and impactful offshore wind energy industry in Ireland.

This will ensure that the sector creates as much value as possible throughout Ireland and maximises the economic benefits associated with government ambitions to deliver its 2030, 2040 and 2050 offshore wind targets.

Powering Prosperity, which includes 40 actions that will be implemented in 2024 and 2025, was developed as part of close ongoing collaboration between the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and other Government departments and agencies within the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce (OWDT).

These actions aim to build a strong and resilient offshore wind supply chain in Ireland, as well as exploring opportunities for Irish companies to play a major role in the development of offshore wind projects in Ireland and abroad.

It also explores opportunities to leverage Ireland’s existing strengths in RD&I, finding ways to support the sector to reach the cutting edge of future developments in offshore wind.

The era of offshore wind represents a game-changing opportunity for communities right across Ireland and particularly around our coastline. The country’s key deployment and O&M ports can be major industrial hubs of the future transforming regions in the process.

A suite of policies related to the transmission of and demand for OWE and its derivatives also inform this strategy, including the review of the National Ports Policy, which will be conducted by the IMDO on behalf of the Department of Transport. The National Ports Policy provides the overarching policy framework for the governance and future development of Ireland’s State port network and is an important piece of policy development given the role that ports are expected to play in the delivery of offshore renewable energy.

Published in Power From the Sea

Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney has said he intends to publish an offshore renewable energy (ORE) industrial strategy very shortly.

A draft of the strategy was due to be presented to Cabinet this week, he told the third annual national seafarers’ conference in Limerick.

A test site for floating offshore wind, similar to the Atlantic test site developed in north Mayo, is being considered as part of the industrial strategy, he said.

He said the ORE industrial strategy “aligns with the ORE “Future Framework” policy statement being prepared by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

“Indeed, the industrial strategy will help to realise the plan-led approach set out in the “Future Framework” by building capacity and capability along the supply chain here in Ireland,” Coveney said.

The potential for accelerating a designated area map (DMAP) for the west coast is being examined by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, Coveney told the conference.

A draft DMAP for the Irish south coast in relation to potential ORE sites has already been published for public consultation

“Successful decarbonisation of the Irish economy through offshore renewable energy development does not have to come at the expense of high quality, low carbon Irish seafood,” Coveney said.

“A sustainable, resilient seafood sector is very much Government policy through the Food Vision 2030 strategy. The nature of the skills involved in supporting our fishing industry is a key asset to Ireland as we look to develop our presence in the international offshore wind market,” he said.

“Places like Killybegs, where Enterprise Ireland is working with Ireland’s first marine cluster, speak to this,” he said.

“Here we have a natural, sheltered deep water port with a vibrant hub where engineering, electrical, ship maintenance and offshore services are already used by renewable energy developers and offshore petroleum companies, side by side with highly profitable seafood companies,” he said.

“Indeed, when I visited Fraserburgh in Scotland two weeks ago, I was struck by the similarities,” he said.

“While a lot of focus is on our largest commercial ports being ORE-ready, we will need a lot of skills in a range of ports to meet our renewable energy targets. It’s good to acknowledge where we already have some strong bases to build from,” he said.

Published in Power From the Sea

Ireland’s strategy for offshore renewable energy are among topics incorporated in an updated draft of Ireland’s national energy and climate plan for Europe, which has been opened for public consultation this week.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan said engagement with stakeholders was “central to its success” when he marked the opening of the new draft national energy and climate plan (NECP) to public consultation on Thursday (Feb 8).

All European Union (EU) member states, including Ireland, develop the so-called NECPs to outline progress towards their climate and energy objectives and targets under EU legislation.

The updated NECP covers the period from 2021 to 2030.

It focuses on the actions Ireland is taking to meet its EU 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, renewable energy, energy efficiency and electricity interconnection, as mandated by EU Regulations and Directives.

“While the NECP projections are based on 2021 implemented policies, in accordance with EU guidelines, I am conscious that this is not as ambitious as our own recent 2024 climate action plan,” Ryan said.

“Therefore, I encourage all stakeholders to be ambitious and to share their valuable feedback with us to help shape a robust response to our EU targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, renewable energy, energy efficiency and electricity interconnection,”he said.

“The final NECP will reflect most recent projections and our future ambition,” he said.

This consultation forms a key component of the NECP process, which will culminate with the submission of a final NECP to the European Commission in June 2024, Ryan’s department noted.

Ireland submitted its draft NECP to the Commission in 2023. The feedback from the Commission’s assessment of the draft, in addition to the feedback from the stakeholder consultation, will be reflected in the final NECP.

As the document evolves to incorporate these changes, along with the integration of Ireland’s new, more ambitious European targets and updated policies, it is anticipated that the final NECP will represent a substantially developed update to the draft which was submitted in December 2023, the department said.

It said further consultation will be carried out prior to the submission of the final NECP, to ensure that stakeholders are kept informed on the process and are given an opportunity to contribute to the shaping of this document.

Information on how to make a submission to the NECP consultation is here

Published in Power From the Sea

A consultation on Ireland’s long term plan for offshore renewable energy (ORE) has been welcomed by Minister for Environment and Climate Eamon Ryan.

The consultation is on the “Future Framework” policy statement, described as a long-term model and vision for offshore renewable energy in Ireland.

The framework includes 21 key actions and “sets out the pathway Ireland will take to deliver 20GW of offshore wind by 2040 and at least 37GW in total by 2050”, Ryan says.

It also looks beyond 2030 targets to secure 5GW of offshore wind and 2GW earmarked for the production of green hydrogen, Ryan’s department has said.

"Deliver 20GW of offshore wind by 2040 and at least 37GW in total by 2050”

Several key reports have also been published, including a strategic environmental assessment and appropriate assessment of the ORE “Future Framework” policy statement, and an economic market analysis on the viability of ORE targets and potential export opportunities.

The policy statement is “built on an analysis of economic opportunities to encourage investment and maximise the financial and economic return of offshore renewable energy to the State and local communities”, the department says.

“It also explores the potential to export excess renewable energy through increased interconnection, and analyses opportunities for using excess renewable energy for alternative energy products and services that can be fed into international markets. This includes renewable hydrogen and chemicals such as ammonia or methanol, which can be used instead of carbon-intense fuels in the aviation and maritime industries,” it says.

A final version of the ORE “Future Framework” will be approved by the government and co-published with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment’s National Industrial Strategy for Offshore Wind in the Spring.

Information on how to make a submission to the consultation is available here.

The accompanying reports can be viewed here.

Published in Power From the Sea

Ireland is well placed to seize the opportunities presented by a boon in offshore projects, according to the head of the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI).

Speaking to The Journal ahead of the NMCI’s third annual Seafarers’ Conference next month, Paul Hegarty says all the potential is there to train and support the huge workforce that large-scale offshore wind energy (OWE) and other projects will require.

And while he says the NMCI already provides much of this training, both practical skills for mariners as well as supply chain and logistics, he also acknowledges there are gaps in its curriculum that need to be filled.

For instance, it does not currently cover pilotage of remote operated vehicles (ROVs) which are critical for the planning, installation and maintenance of subsea cable networks for power delivery from wind farms.

Hegarty also has ambitions of expanding the NMCI beyond its Cork Harbour base to satellite campuses — particularly on the East Coast where the bulk of OWE projects approved in last summer’s State auction are located.

The Journal has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

Commitments to overcoming some of the challenges facing the offshore renewable energy sector are expected to receive a boost, with early morning agreement on a new climate deal at Cop 28 in Dubai.

Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan hailed the agreement as “historic”, while former president Mary Robinson criticised it as falling short of full phase-out of fossil fuels.

Renewable energy sector businesses have expressed frustration here at the slow pace of development, while the fishing industry sector has called for far more consultation.

The new Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) is running a public consultation on its designated area map for the south coast.

The agreement to “transition away from fossil fuels” at the UN climate talks in the UAE has elicited mixed reactions, with Marie Donnelly, chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council, noting that the fossil fuels lobby’s grip has been broken.

Friends of the Earth Ireland said that the COP28 deal was not strong enough to deliver an end to fossil fuels without global people power to drive government action around the world.

The environmental campaigning organisation cited what it identified as a “litany of loopholes” noted by the small island states most vulnerable to climate change.

It said these loopholes could allow fossil fuel interests to continue with “business as usual” unless citizens and campaigners demand systems change.

Speaking in Dubai, Jerry Mac Evilly, head of policy in Friends of the Earth said:

“The fossil fuel ‘elephant in the room’ has finally been put front and centre thanks to the tireless efforts of civil society around the world,” MacEvilly said.

“Yet the 'elephant’ remains on the rampage. COP28 broke the climate silence on fossil fuels but it has not yet broken the grip of fossil fuel interests on our energy system and on much of our political system. Today’s agreement may have signalled the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era but it does not ensure it. We the people will have to do that,” he said.

Published in Power From the Sea

Greater detail and certainty on the location of offshore renewable energy (ORE) off the Irish coast and greater alignment with relevant policies and plans were among key issues raised during public consultation on the State’s draft second ORE development plan.

“Significant feedback was also received on technical criteria, environmental considerations and the sharing of the maritime space,” the Department of Environment has said.

The findings are included in an independent report summarising public consultation feedback on the second plan, known as OREDP II.

Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD, has welcomed publication of the report, which summarised feedback from pubic consultation over an eight-week period from February to April 2023.

The draft OREDP II proposed a national-level spatial strategy to guide locations for the future development of offshore renewable energy, and both Ryan and the Tánaiste Micheál Martin participated in workshops to support the consultation.

Over 1,100 people took part in the nationwide consultation, including members of the public and key stakeholder groups.

The engagement included six in-person workshops, ten informal outreach visits to coastal communities, five online information events, and one exhibit at a trade fair for fisheries.

“The feedback noted that there are many potential benefits and opportunities for Ireland in developing offshore renewable energy in terms of delivering on the Climate Action Plan, economic development and ensuring security of supply,”the department says.

“Participants requested greater detail and certainty on the location of offshore renewable energy as part of the post-consultation version of the OREDP II, and greater alignment with relevant policies and plans (both marine and terrestrial),”it said.

“Significant feedback was also received on technical criteria, environmental considerations and the sharing of the maritime space,”it said.

“I have carefully considered all of the feedback, and my department, along with other Government departments, will continue to work closely with local communities to ensure that any developments of our offshore wind resources are managed in a planned, strategic, economical and sustainable way,” Ryan said.

The OREDP II, public consultation report, is available to view at

Published in Marine Planning

The European Commission says it is “doubling down” on efforts to support offshore renewable energy with additional actions.

It says member states must collectively install almost 12 gigawatts (GW) a year on average to meet ambitious new goals set after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A target of 12 GW annually is ten times more than the new 1.2 GW of offshore wind installed last year, it notes.

The cumulative offshore installed capacity among 27 member states last year amounted to 16.3 GW.

EU member states recently agreed on ambitious new goals for offshore renewable energy generation by 2050, with intermediate goals for 2030 and 2040 for each of the EU's five sea basins, it notes.

Additional actions include a commitment to strengthen grid infrastructure and regional cooperation; to accelerate permitting; to ensure integrated maritime spatial planning; to strengthen resilience of infrastructure’ and to sustain research and innovation, and develop supply chains and skills.

Details of its new communication of delivering offshore renewable energy can be found here


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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