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Fiona Young's Albin Express North Star leads the IRC White Sails Division of Royal Cork Yacht Club's O'Leary Insurance Winter League 2021 after five races sailed in Cork Harbour.

The Myrtleville helmswoman has a two-point margin after today's race in an ideal northwest sailing breeze at the bottom of a December spring tide.

One time leader, Diamond (Colman Garvey / Kieran Kelleher), is second on nine points from Richard Leonard's Bolero Bandit on 13 points.

Fiona Young's Albin Express North StarFiona Young's Albin Express North Star Photo: Bob Bateman

After a running start from Cage out the harbour to No. 3 buoy the course set by Race Officer Clem McElligott took the fleet on a beat back to Cage and then a harbour course to the finish.

The Tingle family's new X-4 AlpacaFront runner - The Tingle family's new X-4 Alpaca Photo: Bob Bateman

The Tingle family's new X-4 Alpaca led on the water but in their wake were some real boat to boat battles real between Anthony O'Leary's modified 1720 and Nick Walsh's new 1720 entry Breaking Bad. Likewise, there was a good tussle between the overall leader North Star and the quarter tonner Diamond.

Results are here

Day Five O'Leary Insurances Winter League Photo Gallery By Bob Bateman

Published in Royal Cork YC

After four races sailed, Fiona Young's North Star Albin Express has taken the lead in Royal Cork's O’Leary Insurance Winter League.

The Young crew on four points now have a four-point lead over league debutantes Colman Garvey and Kieran Kelleher sailing their new Quarter Tonner Diamond who had held the lead on IRC for the first three races. 

One point further back is Richard Leonard's Bolero, Bandit.

Scroll down for photo galleries by Afloat's Bob Bateman of the first three races.

As Afloat reported previously, the league is being held ‘all-in’ and under ‘White Sails’ only for the first time.

Colman Garvey and Kieran Kelleher new Quarter Tonner DiamondColman Garvey and Kieran Kelleher new Quarter Tonner Diamond

© Afloat.ie

Results are here

2021 O'Leary Winter League Photo Gallery Race 3

2021 O'Leary Winter League Photo Gallery Race 2

2021 O'Leary Winter League Photo Gallery Race 1

Published in Royal Cork YC

The Royal Cork Yacht Club has announced that this year’s O’Leary Insurances Winter League will be run as an all-in White Sail league.

The club says it initiated the trial event for 2021 to encourage as many keelboats as possible out for the Cork Harbour league, where all boats will be racing against each other for the Archie O’Leary Trophy.

Clem & Wendy McElligott will be back in the OOD boat for the league which kicks off this Sunday 7 November. First Gun will be 12.25pm with one all-in race per day.

The Notice of Race, with links to the entry form and race declaration, is available from the RCYC website HERE.

Published in Royal Cork YC

Youth World ILCA 6/Laser Radial Champion Eve McMahon from Howth Yacht Club is a clear favourite for success at this Thursday's youth sailing championships hosted by Royal Cork Yacht Club and sponsored by Investwise.

Former Irish youth champion McMahon, who earned more international stripes this month with a senior world championship race win in Bulgaria, is embarked on a campaign to represent Ireland at Paris 2024, so there's no doubt the U18 sailor will be putting her impressive boat speed on show in Cork Harbour

This month, laser sailors have been training on the Royal Cork race track with Tokyo trialist Aisling Keller as a coach in advance of the championships.

Tralee Bay's Ellie CunnaneTralee Bay's Ellie Cunnane (right) Photo: Bob Bateman

The closest guide to form is the 2021 Laser National Championships held in Royal Cork back in August. At that event – in which McMahon did not compete – Tralee Bay's Ellie Cunnane was third overall and top Girl in the 46-boat national championship fleet.

Cunnane will be racing on Cork waters again next week, but there will be no doubting McMahon's speed advantage, especially in breeze. The sixth-year student demonstrated that with a consistent scoreline on Lake Garda in August to take the Girl's worlds crown, as Afloat reported here.

Laser 4.7 sailing in Cork HarbourLaser 4.7 sailing in Cork Harbour

Next week, four-course areas will operate for the youth championships in Cork Habour; Aghada, Curlane Bank, Cuskinny and Roches Point with an 11-race schedule for the ILCA 6/Laser class.

Racing begins on Thursday, October 28th, and as well as deciding national honours, the event serves as the second part of a qualifications system to determine Ireland's representative at the Youth World Sailing Championships in Oman this December.

Published in Youth Sailing

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team lie fourth overall after day one of the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup at Newport Rhode Island. A second Irish team from Howth Yacht Club in County Dublin are in 17th place after three races sailed.

There are strong starts to a regatta and then there's the day on the water put in by Royal Thames Yacht Club to open up the racing in the 2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.

The British team, which won the event in 2015 and has sailed in all but one of the seven editions, finished second in the first race, repeated that feat in the second and then tacked on an emphatic win in the day's final contest. The RTYC team will fly the golden spinnaker on Day 2 of the event, and carry a 7-point lead over the host New York Yacht Club, which sits second, a point ahead of 2017 champion Southern Yacht Club.

Anthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team (bow number 13) lie fourth overallAnthony O'Leary's Royal Cork Yacht Club team (bow number 13) lie fourth overall Photo: Daniel Forster

"Very pleased," said RTYC skipper John Greenland. "You know it’s a tough regatta. To be able to finish a day and know you’ve got a great starting point…We were just thinking, normally we’re coming off the water [on Day 1] thinking, 'How are we going to catch up with that fast boat.' Luckily we’ve had that day, so it’s great."

The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a biennial regatta hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I. Since the event was first run in 2009, it has attracted top amateur sailors from 48 of the world’s most prestigious yacht clubs from 21 countries. After five editions in the Swan 42 class, the 2021 event will be the second sailed in the IC37, designed by Mark Mills. 

It was forecast to be a challenging day on Rhode Island Sound, for both competitors and the race committee, thanks to a breeze that moved around like a pre-schooler confined to his seat for too long. And while the long-term progression was in one direction, there were plenty of holes in the breeze and the random oscillations that drive tacticians crazy.

Greenland chalked up RTYC's success to the all-powerful combination good speed and solid decisions.

"I think trying to keep the boat going, the boat powered up and getting over the waves was really important," he said. "[Ian Dobson] was on tactics and getting us on the right side of the shifts and in pressure. I think it was just as important to be in the pressure as it was to get the shifts right today."

Greenland also noted that having a team that has been here before—27 total times across the team, and seven times himself—was helpful on the opening day, which followed a hectic three days of mandatory practice, meetings and social activities.

"I guess I’ve got more used to the fact it’s a big event with a lot going on, and you’re not going to be overwhelmed by that aspect of the event, but still the same level of nerves going into the first race with 19 great teams all of whom can be on the start line and win this regatta," he said. "[We] go into today knowing the beast of the event a bit better. It’s great to be here. Everyone knows the challenges that have been had by all the teams thing to attend this event and the yacht club to put it on, but it’s fantastic to be here."

Finishing one place behind Royal Thames in each of the first two races was Royal Cork Yacht Club. Like Greenland, Royal Cork skipper Anthony O'Leary has been to all seven Invitational Cups. He and his crew, which includes two of his sons, know well the nuances of the event.

"We had some difficult starts," said Robert O'Leary, Anthony's son. "We managed to get out of the first two well. Really tough on in the last race. Playing the middle, in these boats, on the first beat isn’t really the tactic we go for. But we were forced into it. We were happy to come out with two thirds and, of course, the 11th in the last one will hurt a little bit. But every score counts and you’ve got to fight for every place."

Counting two 16s and a 14 in the first three races, Howth Yacht Club are lying 19th overallCounting two 16s and a 14 in the first three races, Howth Yacht Club are lying 17th overall Photo: Daniel Forster

While IC37 designer Mark Mills is an Irish resident, and his designs are quite popular in Europe, the IC37 does not yet have a foothold in Ireland. Robert O'Leary said the team came to this event worried that lack of time in the boat would be a handicap.

"We were quite worried the last two years that the American boats, and any of the other teams that had a boat, would catch up a bit, getting the boats up to speed quicker," he said. "But we were quite happy with our boatspeed today and how we’re getting around the race track. So we’re a little less worried today than we were at the start. We know it’s a tough regatta, every place counts, and we’ve just got to keep grinding away."

Royal Cork finished the day with 17 points, good for fourth place in the overall standings. In fifth, just one point further back, is The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club, which had, by far, the best day of the four rookie teams.

"My personal secret goal is I was hoping for one top-five finish in this event," said Cochrane, after a 7-5-6 on their first races in the IC37. "To be sitting in fifth overall after the first day…just to be able to play, to be in the same water at this level, and we can look at them and see their set up, we’re just trying to learn as much as we can. But boy, they’re good. They know the boats really well, and it’s just a pleasure to be here and to learn from them."

Cochrane is one of four Olympians on the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club team. That kind of talent is a great way to climb a steep learning curve. He was also quick to credit the efforts of the host club to get each team up to speed.

"I just can’t thank [the New York Yacht Club] enough for organising all the coaching and everything," he said. "If we had come in here and not had access to that, there’s no way we would’ve been able to get around the race course the way we did today. It’s really a testament to how welcoming and open this event is."

Whether he and his Royal Vancouver team feel the same way tomorrow, when the breeze is expected to be in the mid-teens, remains to be seen. They'd do well to consider this bit of advice from Greenland, who's seen all sides of this event: "You start each day as if it’s the first day of the regatta."

It worked today. There's no reason it can't work tomorrow.

2021 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup Day 1 Results

  1. Royal Thames Yacht Club 10 GBR 2 2 1 2 2 1 5
  2. New York Yacht Club 19 USA 4 1 7 4 1 7 12
  3. Southern Yacht Club 3 USA 1 10 2 1 10 2 13
  4. Royal Cork Yacht Club 13 IRL 3 3 11 3 3 11 17
  5. Royal Vancouver Yacht Club 15 CAN 7 5 6 7 5 6 18
  6. San Diego Yacht Club 17 USA 12 4 5 12 4 5 21
  7. Eastern Yacht Club 16 USA 12 6 4 12 6 4 22
  8. Yacht Club Costa Smeralda 14 ITA 7 12 3 7 12 3 22
  9. American Yacht Club 8 USA 9 11 8 9 11 8 28
  10. The San Francisco Yacht Club 2 USA 17 7 9 17 7 9 33
  11. Royal Swedish Yacht Club 6 SWE 10 8 18 10 8 18 36
  12. Nylandska Jaktklubben 12 FIN 6 18 13 6 18 13 37
  13. Royal Canadian Yacht Club 5 CAN 13 9 16 13 9 16 38
  14. Yacht Club Italiano 18 ITA 10 17 12 10 17 12 39
  15. Noroton Yacht Club 7 USA 15 14 10 15 14 10 39
  16. Yacht Club Argentino 9 ARG 14 13 17 14 13 17 44
  17. Howth Yacht Club 4 IRL 16 16 14 16 16 14 46
  18. Itchenor Sailing Club 11 GBR 19 15 15 19 15 15 49
  19. Royal Bermuda Yacht Club 20 BER 18 19 19 18 19 19 56
Published in Royal Cork YC

In his latest video update, Royal Cork Yacht Club Admiral Colin Morehead hails the return of keelboat and junior racing at Crosshaven, not to mention the well-earned victory of Nieulargo in the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race.

This weekend the club is hosting the postponed 29er Nationals among a busy calendar of events that includes the Tricentenary At Home Regatta at the end of August.

Colin confirms that the parade of sail will go ahead on the morning of Saturday 28 August — with attendees including Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney — and he made a special request to club members: “If you have a boat, if it floats, get it in the water and make sure that it’s there.”

Also upcoming is the Cork300 cruise in company along the Wild Atlantic Way from new Saturday 10 July, which still space available for cruisers to join. Find out more on the RCYC website HERE.

And the Royal Cork will join with other Cork Harbour clubs to help the Naval Service celebrate its 75th anniversary in September. More details to come.

In the meantime, outdoor dining is in full swing at the clubhouse and Colin appeals to all to come down to the club and make the most of any fine weather.

Published in Royal Cork YC
Tagged under

Tonight is a big night for the Royal Cork at Crosshaven, where the Rear Admiral for Keelboats is looking forward to firing the starting gun again this evening.

It's not for racing, but for keelboat training, as a prelude to getting back to the racing mode.

More boats are being launched daily in Cork Harbour as the pent-up demand for a return to competition is being released.

"We are glad to be getting back on the water. It will be exciting to blow the start gun for training on Thursday night and even better to sound the racing start in June," says Daragh Connolly, Keelboats Rear Admiral, at the RCYC as preparations are finalised for getting yachts into racing mode again.

Daragh Connolly, RCYC Keelboats Rear AdmiralDaragh Connolly, Keelboats Rear Admiral at Royal Cork Yacht Club

Racing itself won't resume until after June 7, so the training sessions will be used to get racers prepared and up to speed for events like the Sovereigns Cup and the resumption of evening cruiser racing next month.

"The situation is improving, but we are clearly not out of the woods yet," club Admiral Colin Morehead has told members, announcing that facilities are gradually re-opening.

As well as the plan for keelboats, other adult sailors, including National 18s and Lasers, are being told by their Class Captains about restarting racing.

Youth sailors are already back on the water and training in pods of 15.

Daragh Connolly is my guest on this week's Afloat Podcast (below), where he outlined the plans for a return to racing and how club members were welcoming it.

Published in Tom MacSweeney

Cork Week is a special event that holds a place in the heart of many sailors.

Over the winter months, the Royal Cork Yacht Club spent time talking to a number of sailors to understand what is it that makes the biennial regatta so special.

Now thanks to the production expertise of RL Sailing’s Pamela Lee, these many hours of video have now been edited down into short videos which will be released over the coming months.

Up first is the racing: whether it’s coastal races around the Fastnet or the famous Harbour Race, there’s something on offer for everyone at Cork Week.

And the Royal Cork looks forward to welcoming everyone back to enjoy it in 2022.

Published in Cork Week
Tagged under

The National 18’s 2021 season was launched at the Royal Cork Yacht Club class’s AGM last week.

Sailing is scheduled to start on 27 March with the PY 1000 All In Dinghy Race, followed by the first Wednesday evening league meeting on 7 April.

Among the news from the AGM was that an additional boat has been purchased from the UK and another has changed hands over the winter, meaning 15 boats will be active in and around Cork Harbour this year.

Highlights of the upcoming calendar include the National 18 Championships (Cock O’ The North) in August, the presentation of The Curlane Cup for the overall winner of the combined harbour races plus the Cork Harbour Archipelago Raid, a series of harbour point to point races which plays on the famous Swedish Archipelago Raid.

Plans are also in motion to introduce new sailors to the National 18, both young and old. For more information on the class, contact incoming class captain Charles Dwyer.

Published in National 18
Tagged under

Colin Morehead, Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club, which celebrated its 300th birthday last year, has been named as Cork Person of the Month for January 2021.

At the Cork Harbour club's 300th AGM, Colin Morehead was elected the 42nd Admiral of the Royal Cork Yacht Club. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, many of the Club’s planned 300 birthday celebrations had to be cancelled last year. Morehead has been part of the Royal Cork all of his life, following in the footsteps of generations of his family before him. Upon receiving the title of Admiral, Colin outlined his wish to develop a five-year plan for the club, along with the development of a new sustainability plan for the club which underpins all of the club’s activities. As Admiral, Colin’s passion and dedication to the club has become ever more prominent, as he has worked to successfully maintain and grow the institution that is the Royal Cork Yacht Club.

Additionally, Morehead has ambitions to secure an additional European or World Championship event to be run at the club by 2023.

The Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) is based in Crosshaven, Cork, and is the world's oldest yacht club, founded in 1720. The Royal Cork Yacht Club is one of the World’s leading Yacht Clubs and is in the forefront of all branches of sailing activity. The members of the RCYC are the organisers of the biennial Cork Week, widely regarded as Europe’s premier sailing event. The club has hosted many National, European & World Championships, putting Cork on the map for its sailing prowess. Its members compete at the highest level in all branches of sailing, and the club has a number of World, Olympic, Continental and national sailors among its membership.

Speaking on his success Admiral Colin Morehead said, “To be named as Cork Person of the Month is an honour. Having been involved with the Royal Cork Yacht Club all my life it is truly rewarding to receive this accolade. But nothing that I have done at the club could have been achieved without the support and dedication of the staff and the club's incredible committee’s and volunteers. Volunteers give of their time and services freely and they are held with the utmost regard at all times by all club members.”

Awards organiser Manus O’Callaghan said, “The Royal Cork Yacht Club has always been a place of enormous importance for Cork sailing enthusiasts. With the committed and passionate Colin Morehead as Admiral, the club will no doubt go from strength to strength, over the next 300 years. RCYC, as the oldest yacht club in the world in one of the great harbours of the world, is something all Cork can be proud of. "

Colin Morehead, who was nominated for this award by Barry and Carmel Woods and others, name will now go forward for possible selection as Cork Person of the Year, with the other Persons of the Month chosen in 2021.

Published in Royal Cork YC
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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