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Crosshaven Trad Sail returns for another year this weekend from Friday 14 to Sunday 16 June with a packed programme of festival events around the historic boat regatta.

Registration (€25) is open for participating skippers, with early arrivals potentially having a regal audience as the Dutch royal family makes a special visit to the Cork Harbour village on Friday, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Celebrations begin at The Oar Bar on Friday evening with live music upstairs from 8pm.

Action on the water gets under way at 2pm on Saturday in the vicinity of The Grassy after a 12.30pm skippers’ briefing at Hugh Coveney Pier.

That will be followed by more craic across Crosshaven’s pubs, with a ‘Pirates’ Pub Crawl’ getting started at Fitzy’s Bar from 7.30pm.

Hopefully there won’t be too may sore heads at the breakfast BBQ on Sunday at Hugh Coveney Pier in aid of Crosshaven Sea Scouts.

Sunday racing for all types of craft gets going at 2pm, before the Parade of Sail to wow spectators at 4pm, and the regatta prize-giving ceremony on the pier at six.

The Sunday also promises to be a fun-filled family day out, with a junior knot-typing competition, crab fishing, fancy dress, face painting, a colouring contest and more from 11am, while Crosshaven RNLI will also be hosting their Open Day at the lifeboat station from 1pm.

For full details of what’s happening in Crosshaven this weekend, see the Crosshaven Trad Sail website and follow on Facebook.

Click HERE for images from last year’s festival.

Published in Maritime Festivals

#Rowing: The hosts won the men's senior eights title at Trinity Regatta today. The Trinity/Lady Elizabeth crew had a length and a quarter to spare over Blue Star, a British crew which featured Scott Durant, an Olympic gold medallist, along with former Ireland internationals Cormac Folan and Niall Kenny.

 The men's senior singles went to Michael Maher after a disqualification. The race featured a clash between the two Commercial men, after which Niall Beggan was disqualified.

 The women's novice eight gave DULBC a chance to show their mettle. They raced Neptune in the final and won well. Bann's women's junior 18 eight looked strong and crossed the line ahead of Graiguenamanagh - but Bann were disqualified for not staying the right side of a buoy.

 Brian Colsh of Sligo continued his good run by taking the men's junior 18 single, while Galway beat Blackrock in the men's junior 16 eights final.

Published in Rowing

#YouthSailing - Bray Sailing Club has announced details of its 2018 Junior Regatta, taking place this coming Friday 27 July.

Last year’s regatta was Bray’s largest open event, and this year the club hopes to welcome even more visitors from neighbouring clubs and make the event even bigger.

The Notice of Race, sailing instructions and entry form are now available to download from the Bray Sailing Club website.

If you are planning to bring a boat to the regatta by road, or have any other queries as a prospective competitor, contact [email protected]

Published in Youth Sailing
Tagged under

#Rowing: Ireland’s new pair of Emily Hegarty and Aifric Keogh put in a decisive sprint in the final 200 metres to take a crucial third place in their heat at the World Cup Regatta in Belgrade this morning. Britain took the first two qualification places for the semi-finals. For much of the race, Serbia held third, with Ireland lagging behind by over a length in fourth and set to go to a repechage. However, Ireland finished well and passed the hosts.

World Cup Regatta, Belgrade (Irish interest)

Women

Pair – Heat One (First Three to A/B Semi-Finals; rest to repechage): 1 Britain One 7:19.05, 2 Britain Two 7:22.92, 3 Ireland (A Keogh, E Hegarty) 7:23.77.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The organisers of Lough Rynn Regatta, set for Saturday, have cancelled the event. As Thursday went on the weather forecasts suggested that the mean speed of the win would be over 20 kilometres per hour with gusts which could make rowing on some parts of the course unsafe.

 John Walsh, the regatta secretary, sent out a statement which said:

 It is with huge regret and a heavy heart that the committee of Lough Rynn Regatta communicates this press release to inform the clubs that the Regatta for 2018 scheduled for 5th May 2018 has been cancelled due to the forecasted wind and wind gusts that are promised tomorrow during the middle of the day.

 In the interest of athlete and volunteer safety we have made this decision in as timely a manner as possible. We gave the forecast every chance to improve once it deterioated yesterday afternoon and have even debated which forecast is the best to use. To be fair to all of the 41 clubs and 443 crews that were due to compete on the day and that were to due to travel from all over the country this decision is now being communicated in line with the initial announcement last night.

We would sincerely like to thank each and every one of the clubs, athletes and coaches who entered in such large numbers and to our army of volunteers who had set aside their day for the hosting of a successful regatta. Included in our volunteer rota was Mr. Eamonn Colclough, President of Rowing Ireland and Ms Michelle Carpenter the newly appointed CEO of Rowing Ireland. All our volunteers who have worked tirelessly over the past number of weeks are all equally devasted but safety comes first in this instance.

We will review the rowing calendar and hopefully will be back later in the year with an alternative event / date.

 Thank you all for your continued support.

Yours in rowing

John Walsh

Regatta Secretary

Published in Rowing

East Coast sailing fans are expecting a big weekend for the 'Taste of Greystones' Regatta this Sunday and, as the name suggests, Greystones Regatta in County Wicklow is about a night–out followed by a morning's racing. 'The night out is guaranteed, says Greystones Sailing Club Commodore, Darragh Cafferkey, 'the racing now lies with the wind gods'. 

'All this week the weather forecasts have been bouncing from five to 25–knots and from factor 50 to umbrellas', Cafferkey told Afloat.ie

It must surely be a case of third time lucky for the Wicklow initiative because the last two editions have been cut short due to lack of wind

As Afloat.ie reported earlier this week, 55 boats are already entered – and that's ahead of 2016 numbers at this stage – to the extent that Cafferkey, himself a top Irish Sea Offshore campaigner, estimates 140 boats are expected for the raft–up at Greystones Marina in preparation for the two race series on Sunday morning that marks the end of the Summer sailing season on the East coast.

In 2013, the inaugural regatta attracted 68 boats, in 2014, this had grown to 80 and in 2015 the regatta broke the 100–mark with 2016 witnessing further growth.

Greystones Wicklow sailing 0556Cruiser–racers will race on two separate courses this year at the Taste of Greystones Regatta in County Wicklow Photo: Afloat.ie

This year the event will be split into two courses with Class 1, 2, 3 racing on North course and White Sails in two fleets on South Course.

As Afloat.ie reported in August 2013, the regatta was originally established in a format that would attract all the East Coast clubs that don’t typically travel, it has grown in size with the following clubs all confirming feeder races.

Bobby kerr sailing sigma33 1700Dublin Bay's Bobby Kerr is a past competitor at Greystones sailing his Sigma 33 Leeuwin from the Royal Irish Yacht Club. Photo: Afloat.ie

Wexford/Courtown will race to Arklow and join the Arklow fleet for a race to Greystones Harbour.

Wicklow Sailing Club, Bray Sailing Club, Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club and Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club have all confirmed races to Greystones on Saturday, Caffekey told Afloat.ie

Dublin Bay will have a feeder race available for all classes and ISORA have over 25 entries confirmed for its race to Greystones.

Over ten boats from Howth have also entered meaning almost every club on the East coast plan to attend.

checkmate Wicklow sailing 0609Dave Cullen's champion Checkmate is a regular competitor off Wicklow Photo: Afloat.ie

A feature of the event is that it is run both on IRC/Standard ECHO and current ECHO. IRC/Standard Echo with only a few points between them means all boats regardless of certs can race based on the boat' s rating, according to Cafferkey.

Astrix sonata Hunter 2015Frazer Meredith's Astrix, a Hunter Sonata, is heading for Greystones Photo: Afloat.ie

The current Echo means that the many non Dublin Bay clubs can use their own local ratings to come to a joint event . There is a limit on current echo to 3%+/- the boats standard handicap.

It is this decision four years ago that made it realistic for all East Coast clubs to come and compete. 'So prizes based on your boat and prizes based on your club performance. Something for everybody', Cafferkey says.

The support of sponsor BJ Marine has allowed Greystones Sailing Club organisers extend hospitality at its new club house that opened over a year ago on the South Pier, to include berth, BBQ, beer in Club and Beachouse plus Breakfast on Sunday. 'Throw in some Musto discounts, Water, bars and sandwiches on the water and there is little left uncovered', Cafferkey says.

First gun at Greystones on Sunday is at 10.55am.

Published in Greystones Harbour

Are you Interested in Sailing or Buying a Sigma 33?

Experience a sail at our Open Morning on Sunday, 24th September 2017 at the Royal St. George Yacht Club

from  9.30–1.00 O’Clock

Followed by finger food in the Club afterwards

For more details call Paddy Maguire 087 2361916 or e- mail [email protected]

More details on the Sigma 33 class from the 2017 season below.

The Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta was for the Sigma 33 one design class the third major open Championship of 2017. The season stared in Tarbert, Scotland at the end of May, with the Scottish series with ten competitors and was won by “Mayrise” James Miller of Cove Sailing Club (CCC) with four wins from eight races.

The next event was in Helensburgh in Mid-June for the Class Championships which was won by “ Miss Behavin” Alan Lennox, Helensburgh Sailing Club. The 13–boat fleet completed eight of the ten planned races over the three days.

The Dun Laoghaire Regatta series had 19 entries including nine from the home waters and ten visitors from Northern Ireland, Scotland, England, the Isle of Man and local boats from Arklow and Waterford. The nine race series was dominated the top six visiting boats. Most of them had competed in Tarbert and Helensburgh and benefited from the close racing at both events. It proved very difficult for local boats to break into the top six in any race. The racing was very competitive with places changing on all legs. The Dun Laoghaire Regatta series was won by Alan Harper & Kristy Robertson in “ Mayraise” The Irish Championship were run in conjunction with the regatta and won by Paul Prentice in “ Squawk” from the Royal Ulster Yacht Club.

Sigma33 Dublin Bay 1 0497Visiting Sigma 33 crews to Dublin Bay in July visiting crews were made up of young and experienced sailors, both men and women. Photo: Afloat.ie

The Sigma 33’s were the biggest one design keelboat class at the regatta and this added to the more enjoyable competition for competitors. The visiting crews comprised young and experienced sailors, both men and women. It’s on occasions like that that you think of how good Tim Goodbody was in that he was regularly in the top three in such regattas.

It wasn’t all racing and on the Friday night 120 of the fleet held a bicentennial Dinner in The Royal Irish Yacht Club. Prizes were presented to the winners of the day’s racing “ Mayrise” Alan Harper and Kristy Robertson CCC and “Rupert” Richard and Philip Lovegrove of the RStGYC. Thanks to Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company, each boat was presented with a History of the Harbour.

The local fleet will recognise that they need to be more competitive as a fleet if they are to compete more successfully in this type of competitive regatta. There is a big incentive for the Class. In 2018, the Sigma 33 National Championships and Irish Championships will be held in Dun Laoghaire and 2019 is a Dun Laoghaire Regatta year. It is expected that similar entries to 2017 will compete each year. This also provides a great opportunity for young local sailors to acquire a Sigma 33 with a major event in local waters for each of the next two years and discover how successfully they could compete against the visitors and local sailors.

Sigma33 Dublin Bay 2 0485The Sigma 33 Fleet will hold a 'Sigma 33 Morning' on Sunday 24th September 2017 at 9.30am in The Royal St. George in Dun Laoghaire

As part of the recognition of the changes required to improve our competitiveness, the Sigma 33 Fleet will hold a 'Sigma 33 Morning' to enable anyone interested in buying or sailing on Sigma 33’s to sail on Sunday 24th September 2017 at 9.30am in The George. All are welcome to come down and to join us for finger food afterwards. If you wish to attend please confirm your attendance by contacting Sigma 33 Class Captain Paddy Maguire at [email protected]

Published in Sigma

#HYC - Howth Yacht Club has posted the Notice of Race and sailing instructions for the Lambay Race and Howth Regatta taking place this Friday 2 and Saturday 3 June.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, this year’s Lambay Race will feature a special ‘ISORA class’ alongside the day race scheduled by the offshore sailing series this Saturday.

However, the ISORA fleet will continue from the Lambay finish mark in Howth towards Dublin Port to join the festivities at Dublin Riverfest.

As for the annual North Dublin regatta, the entry list stands at 62 boats as of this morning (Monday 29 May).

While the vast majority of entrants are cruisers both spinnaker and non-spinnaker, there are a few Puppeteers, Ruffian 23s and of course Howth 17s in the mix for the races, recently paid tribute by our own WM Nixon.

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

#Rowing: Sanita Puspure was part of the top women’s crew at the Head of the Charles Regatta in Boston. The Old Collegians rower took the honours in the Women’s Championship Eights, with a crew of the top scullers in the world, stroked by American Genevra Stone.

 Paul and Gary O’Donovan finished second in their final race, the Directors’ Challenge Men’s Quads. The Skibbereen men teamed up with John Collins and Jonathan Walton of Leander to form a crew which they called Crossing the Pond.

Head of the Charles River, Boston (Irish interest; selected results)

Saturday

Men

Championship Doubles: 8 P O’Donovan, G O’Donovan 17 min 39.742 seconds.

Women

Championships Doubles: 1 K Brennan, E Twigg 18:08.7, 2 M Lobnig, S Puspure 18:20.219.

Sunday (Provisional)

Men

Directors’ Challenge Quads: 2 Crossing the Pond (G O’Donovan, J Walton, J Collins, G O’Donovan) 16:30.304.

Women

Championship Eights: 1 Cambridge (S Puspure, M Knapkova, M Lobnig, J Gmelin, C Zeeman, E Twigg, K Brennan, G Stone; cox: E Driscoll) 16:30.368.

Published in Rowing

For many years now the 1898-founded Howth 17s have spun quite an event out of their annual “National Championship” writes W M Nixon. It may only be a weekend series for a vintage one-design class at its home port, but they make it a three-day event by starting with an evening race on the Friday. As for the mid-championship dinner on the Saturday night, that has assumed epic proportions. And at one stage they found their owners and crews were giving such dedication to a weekend that concludes with a monster prizegiving Sunday lunch that they cheerfully referred to it all as the Howth 17 Worlds, from which title they had to be gently dissuaded (over time) by the National Authority.

Whatever it’s called, it’s a remarkable celebration of down home sailing, so inevitably last year HYC’s then Honorary Sailing Secretary Emmet Dalton got to thinking that, as all the on-water and shoreside infrastructure was in place for a proper championship, surely it made sense to see if other classic One-Design classes would like to be involved as well?

Mermaid dinghy The Mermaids – seen here racing at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire regatta - decided to make their National Championship 2016 part of the new Classic OD Regatta at Howth

The veteran Mermaid Class (which dates from 1932) didn’t merely rise to the bait. They swallowed it whole. And then they took some more, as they’re bringing their Mermaid Nationals 2016 to Howth from Thurday 4th to Sunday 7th August, thereby over-lapping the Howth 17 Championship from the Friday to Sunday.

The Mermaids are in fine form – as reported in Afloat.ie, they had an encouraging turnout of 18 boats for the recent Skerries Regatta. With the Mermaid contingent from Foynes planning on coming across country, and several times champion Jonathan O’Rourke of the National YC also emerging from Dublin Bay with his successful Tiller Girl, it will be an impressive fleet.

Howth 17 AuraReady to roll….Ian Malcolm’s 1898-vintage Howth 17 Aura kitted up in Howth for the journey up the M1 and participation in the RUYC 150th Anniversary Regatta on Belfast Lough. Photo: W M Nixon

Howth 17 yachtNot all the Howth 17s were road-trailed to Belfast Lough. The 1907-built Deilginis sailed there in two hops, with an overnight stop in Ardglass. Long-time Howth 17 veteran Nick Massey is seen here at the helm as Deilginis sweeps through Donaghadee Sound with a fair tide to enter Belfast Lough, and the GPS showing 8.2 knots over the ground. Photo: Davy Nixon

Howth 17 yachtOn Belfast Lough, the Howth 17s held a special race from Bangor to Carrickfergus where the first five boats of the class were built by John Hilditch in 1898, and they’re seen here arriving off Carrickfergus SC (founded 1866) with Aura (no 7) in the lead. Photo: Trish Nixon
This in turn has upped the ante for the ancient Howth 17s. Recently returned from starring in the Royal Ulster YC’s 150th Anniversary celebrations on Belfast Lough, back in Howth they’ve been determinedly getting every Howth 17 in existence into commission and sailing in time for the weekend of 5th to 7th August.

This scheme has included allocating the current newest boat – the class-owned Sheila which was built over several years at a number of locations – to the new HYC Vice Commodore for the season, and as he happens to be Emmet Dalton who also has a foiling International Moth, he’s having a busy year of it.

But while some of the Howth 17s are maintained to classic yacht standards, others are in something of state of limbo both as regards ownership and readiness for sea. However, the community spirit of the Howth 17s is a wonder to behold, and through 2016 the pace of voluntary work has accelerated with a team co-ordinated by Ian Malcolm implementing an action plan to get boats fitted out and into the water. Any time now, with Bobolink being launched, we’ll see all eighteen Howth 17s afloat and sailing in time for the championship.

Howth 17 AnitaTeam work. Ian Malcolm (centre) with his volunteers after the moth-balled Howth 17 Anita was launched last week after a fit-out in record time. Photo: W M Nixon

Howth 17 yachtWhen a Howth 17 is newly-launched, the first thing you do is check for leaks. Photo: W M Nixon
It will be a record for the class, but it will be a record which may well be beaten next year. Just this week Ian Malcolm – who already owns the 1898-vintage Aura – exchanged contracts and a deposit with Skol ar Mor in southern Brittany for a brand new Howth 17.

The people in the boat-building school at Skol ar Mor are no strangers to the Irish classic yacht scene, as last year they launched a new Water Wag, and before that they re-built the Dublin Bay 24 Periwinkle in immaculate style. So their take on a Howth 17 will be fascinating to behold.

But for now, attention is focusing ever more closely on what has become the inaugural Howth Classic One-Design Regatta from August 4th to 7th. With the Mermaids committed to bringing their own band for the Saturday night party, it will be quite something. And who knows, but next year it might entice other classes to get involved, leading on to even greater things.

Howth 17This winter, a new Howth 17 will be in build in Skol ar Mor in Brittany, but today – Wednesday July 27th – the 1907-built Bobolink has been getting a very swift fit-out to make sure a record fleet of eighteen Howth 17s is racing on August 5th. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in Historic Boats
Tagged under
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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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