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#chug – The Coal Harbour Users Group (CHUG) is a group that represents the interests of leisure users of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour & Boatyard, and also the interests of the public that use the resource. Consistent with this, CHUG wish to promote marine related leisure and sport activity for the "ordinary person" in the Dun Laoghaire area and in Dublin Bay. During April 2015, CHUG made a submission to the Dun Laoghaire Cruise Stakeholder Group relating to the proposed new ships berth within the harbour. Part of the submission suggested development of a Marine Leisure Centre in the area west of the West Pier, and suggested that some of the spoil that would result from proposed harbour dredging be used to reclaim and extend land there to accommodate the development.

Kevin Woods writes that CHUG members have viewed the DLR Draft County Development Plan 2016-2022. In the context of the plan, CHUG make the following comments and requests:

CHUG request that the area immediately west of the West Pier including the area known as "The Gut" be designated for marine pleasure, leisure, sport and education use. The development would principally include:
A public marine leisure centre operated along the lines of a municipal leisure centre. This is detailed below.
A new public slip suitable for use by small boats at all tides. There are few public slipways in the Dublin area, and of those, some are not usable at low tide. An additional slip would improve public accessibility to the water and to Dublin Bay in general.
Additional space for marine leisure use, including for storage and repair of small boats and equipment. This might be provided by land reclamation in the area shaded and marked (1) on the attached map.
While the above development appears to be in line with existing Draft Development Plan SLO 14 and SLO 95, these might be reviewed and revised as appropriate should this be necessary to carry out the above. This might be assisted by introduction a new SLO relating to the area marked (1) west of the West Pier along the lines of the following:
Objective to promote water related leisure, sport, education, training facilities for public use at the coastal fringe in the area know as The Gut to the west of the West Pier that may include the reclamation of land and also the development of a new breakwater projecting westward from the pier side. This proposal would be subject to a feasibility study, including an assessment of any options, access considerations and impact on adjoining users. The feasibility study would include appropriate environmental assessments including any required under the Habitats Directive in co-operation with the relevant agencies.

A Marine Activity Centre might include:
Club facilities - offices, store rooms.
Shared meeting room, training / education room, changing room / showers / WCs.
Drying room for wetsuits,
Diving equipment store room
Compressor room for filling diving cylinders.
Small boat repair workshop
Shelters for persons, equipment
Hardstanding for secure dinghy & rib parking, canoe / kayak, windsurf and paddle board storage, small craft trailer storage.
Car, coach / minibus parking.

The centre might also cater for:
Fishing, birdwatching, and nature related activity, and might be a base from which the following would be organised:
Training in water safety
Transition year and primary schools activities
Beach and marine nature, ecology, and environmental study activity.
Marine related art
Youth club facilities
A new scout den
A marine interpretive centre / marine history and heritage centre

#TALL SHIPS - Sail Training Ireland for Youth Development (STIYD) has announced a golden opportunity for the general public to sail on a tall ship.

Hot on the heels of the Tall Ships Races visit to Dublin this August, a series of three tall ship voyages have been scheduled to take place to and from Irish ports by the UK-based Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) on its 65-metre tall ship Tenacious between 11 October and 4 November 2012.

The first sailing from Southampton to Dublin (via Waterford) runs for 10 days from 11-20 October, followed by a seven-day jaunt from Dublin to Belfast from 22-28 October, and another seven-day trip from Belfast to Milford Haven from 29 October-4 November. Each voyage will have room for 40 trainees.

Anyone aged 16 and above can join the voyage crew as a trainee, and no previous experience is necessary.

Tenacious is also specially designed to cater for the needs of people with varying degrees of physical disability, including wheelchair users.

Features on board Tenacious and her sister ship Lord Nelson include signs in braille, lifts between decks, power assisted and 'joystick' steering, wide aisles and low-level fittings, guidance tracks and other on-deck pointers, and a speaking compass with digital screen.

STIYD says it is committed to providing access to tall ship sailing for the people of Ireland. The JST has also offered these voyages at a greatly reduced rate to encourage Irish trainees to get on board with what is hoped can become an annual event.

“It is great to see that the international tall ship fleet is reacting to recent activity in Irish sail training," said Michael Byrne, manager at STIYD. "Now that there is a central point of contact for trainees and vessel operators through STIYD, we can expect to see more and more of this kind of activity.

"When the JST approached us with a proposal to run their Irish Sea programme we offered our full support in promoting the opportunity. A unique and hugely important aspect to the JST is its ability to cater for people with varying degrees of physical ability.”

Kyle O’Regan of STIYD's youth branch added: “It is great for Irish trainees that the JST has arranged for Tenacious to have an Irish Sea programme. Being able to join or leave in your own country is a major advantage in terms of lowering costs.”

Meanwhile, the JST's Grainne Arntz said the charity has shown its "commitment to Ireland" by scheduling these autumn voyages.

"Three years ago we introduced the Ultimate Transition Year Tall Ship Adventure, a programme whereby groups of Transition Year students from Irish schools experience the challenge of tall ship sailing with diverse people.

"These voyages in the autumn will allow more groups and individuals to avail of the unique JST experience of sailing on a tall ship with people of all ages and abilities.”

The tall ship voyages are priced at £775 per person for the 10-day trip, and £525 per person for the seven-day excursions. To book your voyage with the JST visit their website HERE or call +44 23 8044 9108.

For information on the Irish branch of the Jubilee Sailing Trust visit www.jstireland.ie. For general information on sail training activities in Ireland contact Sail Training Ireland, Port Centre, Alexandra Road, Dublin 1 at 01 887 6046, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.irishsailtraining.com.

STIYD is the national sail training organisation for Ireland and is endorsed as such by Sail Training International. The vision of STIYD is to “provide access to the sail training experience for the people of Ireland”.

Published in Tall Ships

#COASTAL NOTES - BBC News reports that construction has begun on a new observation tower on the Lancashire coastline with views over the Irish Sea.

The new tower at Rossall Point, which will reach 14 metres (46ft) upon completion, will act as a base for the UK's National Coastwatch Institution.

A platform at the top will be open to the public providing ample vistas of the Irish Sea's marine wildlife for birdwatchers and more, while the view from the top will also be projected on a screen in the education centre to be located in the tower's ground floor.

Published in Coastal Notes

#NEWS UPDATE - The National Maritime Museum is set to re-open in March following extensive renovation work, according to The Irish Times.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the museum was 'soft' opened to invited groups in October to showcase the developments.

Located in the Mariners’ Church in Dún Laoghaire Harbour, close to the East Pier, exhibits at the museum previously included various marine artefacts and models, as well as a maritime library.

In addition, the new museum will include a section dedicated to marine wildlife, with exhibits on various birds and fish living around the Irish coast.

Hugh O'Rorke is in charge of the marine life section, and is seeking contributions of objects from the public. For more details contact Hugh at [email protected] or 086 372 4676.

Published in News Update

#MARINE WILDLIFE - Some 46 reports of stranded whales and dolphins in Northern Ireland are among the thousands recorded across the UK over the last six years, according to BBC News.

A new study co-ordinated by the Zoological Socoety of London (ZSL) shows that some 3,500 cetaceans were stranded on the British coastline between 2005 and 2010.

Though year-on-year figures have fallen overall, is presumed that many more strandings have gone undetected.

Many were found to have died of disease or starvation – particular harbour dolphins.

But human activity such as fishing, shipping and chemical pollution also poses a significant threat to marine wildlife in the waters around the British Isles, said Rob Deaville of the ZSL.

The public is being encouraged to report stranded marine mammals to help create a more accurate picture.

BBC News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#DUBLIN BAY NEWS - Dublin City Councillors have unanimously rejected controversial plans for flood defences in Clontarf.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, councillors were set to vote last night on whether to give the green light to the scheme, which has faced strong opposition from local residents and business owners.

The flood barrier would have involved the construction of mounds or walls up to and above 7ft high along the Clontarf promenade.

However, following a vote last night, a redesigned proposal was rejected by the council, with officials admitting to The Irish Times that the public consultation process "didn't work".

Labour councillor Jane Horgan Jones said that it was now up to council officials and the local community to develop an acceptable plan to protect Clontarf from flooding in the future.

"However this is done, it must not be at the cost of destroying a beautiful, free and natural amenity that has been used by generations of Dubliners, from within and outside Clontarf, for many years,” she said.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay
A public consultation on the future of Cork Harbour is open until 15 July.
Copies of the 300-page Cork Harbour Study are currently available at Cork County Council offices and online at www.corkcoco.ie, The Southern Star reports.
The study outlines possibilities for the long-term future of the coastline in and around the harbour, including but not limited to the development of disused or under-used areas, and sustainable patterns of settlement and industry.
Ideas the report puts forward for public debate include a new marina for Cobh, more shoreline pedestrian and cycleways, a new container terminal at Ringaskiddy and initiatives for marine-related employment.
"A balance between the development and amenity roles of Cork Harbour is only likely to be maintained if there is public support for this," said outgoing Cork Mayor Kevin Murphy. "Greater use and better public access to its amenities and recreational facilities will make this more likely."

A public consultation on the future of Cork Harbour is open until 15 July.

Copies of the 300-page Cork Harbour Study are currently available at Cork County Council offices and online at www.corkcoco.ie, The Southern Star reports.

The study outlines possibilities for the long-term future of the coastline in and around the harbour, including but not limited to the development of disused or under-used areas, and sustainable patterns of settlement and industry.

Ideas the report puts forward for public debate include a new marina for Cobh, more shoreline pedestrian and cycleways, a new container terminal at Ringaskiddy and initiatives for marine-related employment.

"A balance between the development and amenity roles of Cork Harbour is only likely to be maintained if there is public support for this," said outgoing Cork Mayor Kevin Murphy. "Greater use and better public access to its amenities and recreational facilities will make this more likely."

Published in Cork Harbour
Today's Irish Times editorial raises questions over the new 'masterplan' for Dun Laoghaire harbour.
As previously reported in Afloat.ie, the plan is intended to position Dun Laoghaire "as a marine, leisure and tourism destination of international calibre".
But The Irish Times says: "[The] company needs to reassure the public that all of the proposed uses can be safely accommodated within the granite enclosing arms of this great harbour, without conflicting with each other.
"Is it realistic, for example, to have greatly expanded facilities for sailing and at the same time provide berthing for very large 'next generation' cruise liners? How realistic is the plan to develop 300 apartments within the harbour area in the current market?"
Doubts are also raised about the feasibility of Dublin hosting two cruise liner facilities if plans to expand Dublin Port get the go-ahead.
The Irish Times website has more on the story HERE.

Today's Irish Times editorial raises questions over the new 'masterplan' for Dun Laoghaire harbour.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the plan is intended to position Dun Laoghaire "as a marine, leisure and tourism destination of international calibre".

But The Irish Times says: "[The] company needs to reassure the public that all of the proposed uses can be safely accommodated within the granite enclosing arms of this great harbour, without conflicting with each other.

"Is it realistic, for example, to have greatly expanded facilities for sailing and at the same time provide berthing for very large 'next generation' cruise liners? How realistic is the plan to develop 300 apartments within the harbour area in the current market?"

Doubts are also raised about the feasibility of Dublin hosting two cruise liner facilities if plans to expand Dublin Port get the go-ahead.

The Irish Times website has more on the story HERE. The Dun Laoghaire Yacht Club's joint response to the masterplan is HERE

Published in Dublin Bay
Belfast Lough Sailability recently introduced the latest addition to its fleet - thanks to the generosity of the Northern Irish public.
The Sea Rover was funded with £50,000 from the Big Lottery Fund's People's Millions award, as voted for by the general public last year.
The unique vessel features a drop-down bow to enable direct access for wheelchair users, as well as an integral crew hoist to assist boarding.
The charity said: "Belfast Lough Sailability continues to push the boundaries to offer people with a disability, their families and carers the opportunity to get out on the water and enjoy a range of activities, which would not normally be available to them."

Belfast Lough Sailability recently introduced the latest addition to its fleet - thanks to the generosity of the Northern Irish public.

The Sea Rover was funded with £50,000 from the Big Lottery Fund's People's Millions award, as voted for by the general public last year.

The unique vessel features a drop-down bow to enable direct access for wheelchair users, as well as an integral crew hoist to assist boarding.

The charity said: "Belfast Lough Sailability continues to push the boundaries to offer people with a disability, their families and carers the opportunity to get out on the water and enjoy a range of activities, which would not normally be available to them."

Published in Sailability
Parts of the paused development of Greystones harbour are to be opened to the public, it has emerged.
According to The Irish Times, developers behind the €300 million plan are delivering a newsletter to residents in the Wicklow town listing its options for the harbour, the first phase of which was mostly completed this year.
These include landscaping parts of the site and reopening much of the area to public access while the second phase - which will include new facilities for clubs using the harbour - gets underway. Phase three is currently stalled dependent on funding.
Developer Sispar has already confirmed it will remove seconds of hoardings from around the harbour.
The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Parts of the paused development of Greystones Harbour are to be opened to the public, it has emerged.

According to The Irish Times, developers behind the €300 million plan are delivering a newsletter to residents in the Wicklow town listing its options for the harbour, the first phase of which was mostly completed this year.

These include landscaping parts of the site and reopening much of the area to public access while the second phase - which will include new facilities for clubs using the harbour - gets underway. Phase three is currently stalled dependent on funding.

Developer Sispar has already confirmed it will remove seconds of hoardings from around the harbour.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Greystones Harbour
Page 1 of 2

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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