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Saturday's much anticipated Drumshanbo Gin Royal Irish Yacht Club regatta racing at Dun Laoghaire has been cancelled due to strong winds.

Race officers went to sea to check the conditions and reported strong southerly winds gusting to 33 knots on the Dubin Bay race courses.

As Afloat's WM Nixon relates despite this weekend's packed sailing fixture list sailors are heading for the high stool as gales sweep the country and cause wholesale cancellations.

Live Dublin Bay webcams are here

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club
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We can only be wishing this morning that the traditional-type low pressure areas which march across the Atlantic from New England towards Old Ireland could take aboard some of the strict Sabbatarianism of the regions they’re passing through in their developing stages, and give due regard for the attitudes imbued in such God-fearing places by the time they get here.

In other words, with one of the busiest weekends of the 2022 Irish sailing season upon us, everything is being affected by the remorseless approach of a low pressure area which will be squatted right upon us on Sunday. Now if it was a proper Ten Commandments-compliant depression, it would make Sunday a day of rest. But instead it will be working away with the Cong-Galway race on Lough Corrib postponed, the Shannon One Designs’ two-day long distance race from Lough Ree to Lough Derg adversely affected, and the final stages of events like Bangor Town Regatta on Belfast Lough, the Royal Irish YC Drumshanbo Gin Regatta on Dublin Bay, and the Bandon Co-op Squib Championship at Kinsale having – at the very least – to take note.

The many Squibs at Kinsale have had some good racing and better weather than most. Photo: Robert BatemanThe many Squibs at Kinsale have had some good racing and better weather than most. Photo: Robert Bateman

DEEPENING LOW PRESSURE & HIGH STOOL DAYS

For of course it’s today (Saturday) with the Low approaching and deepening that we could see the greatest turbulence. If it does sit down over Ireland on Sunday, there could be much rain but little enough wind, yet always with the chance that a gale could strike at any moment.

In other words, it has all the makings of what, in the west of Ireland, they’d nominate as A High-Stool Day. So before we contemplate the ramifications of this, let us do things in an even more back-to-front style than usual. For today, after a very intense week of closely following the progress of the SL Renewables Round Ireland Race, we’d originally had thoughts of giving a sonorous overview of it all.

But after something like 16 continuous reports which led on from one to the other in such a processing of information that brain burnout resulted, I’m not sure that Sailing on Saturday has anything more to say, whereas the bare bones results – with the proper details of the boats involved - speak for themselves, and as we’ve already said somewhere, there seems to be something for nearly everyone in the audience.

She came, she saw, she conquered – the French J/121 SL Energies Fastwave (Laurent Charmy) overcame at least two tactical reversals to become overall winner of the 2022 Round Ireland Race. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien   She came, she saw, she conquered – the French J/121 SL Energies Fastwave (Laurent Charmy) overcame at least two tactical reversals to become overall winner of the 2022 Round Ireland Race. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien  

SSE RENEWABLES ROUND IRELAND YACHT RACE FROM WICKLOW 2022

Line honours: 1st Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland); 2nd Green Dragon (Volvo 70, Conor Ferguson & Enda O Coineen, Galway Bay SC); 3rd Influence (Class40, Andrea Fornaro, Italy); 5th Samatom (Grand Soleil 44, Robert Rendell Howth Yacht Club) 6th Kite (Class 40, Greg Leonard, USA).

IRC Overall: 1st SL Energies Groupe Fastwave (J/111, Laurent Charmy, France); 2nd Snapshot (J/99, Michael & Richard Evans Howth YC; 3rd Artful Dodjer (J/109, Finbarr O’Regan. Kinsale YC), 5th Darkwood (J/121, Michael Boyd, RIYC); 6th Samatom.

Line honours: 1st Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland)Line honours and IRC Z:1st Kuka3 (Cookson 50, Franco Niggeler, Switzerland)

IRC Z: 1st Kuka3; 2nd Green Dragon: 3rd Telefonica Black (Volvo 70, Lance Shepherd, RORC).

IRC 1: 1st Darkwood skippered by Michael Boyd (with trophy)IRC 1: 1st Darkwood skippered by Michael Boyd (with trophy)

IRC 1: 1st Darkwood; 2nd Samatom; 3rd Jackknife (J/125, Andrew Hall, Pwllheli SC), 4th Luzern eComm U25 (Figaro 3, Lorcan Tighe, Irish National SC), 5th Ca Va (Pogo 12.50, Tony Rayer, Cardiff Bay YC); 6th Fuji (OCD40, Ari Kansakoski, Cherbourg)

IRC 2: 1st SL Energies Fastwave; 2nd Rockabill VI (JPK 10.80, Paul O’Higgins, RIYC); 3rd Aurelia (J/122, Chris & Patanne Power Smith, RSTGYC); 4th Black Magic (First 44.7, Barry O’Donovan, Waterford Harbour SC & HYC).

IRC 3 1st Snapshot (J/99, Michael & Richard Evans Howth YC)IRC 3 1st Snapshot (J/99, Michael & Richard Evans Howth YC)

IRC 3: 1st Snapshot; 2nd Artful Dodjer; 3rd Bellino (Sunfast 3600, Rob Craigie, RORC), 4th Nieulargo (Grand Soleil 40, Denis & Annamarie Murphy, Royal Cork YC; 5th Cinnamon Girl (Sunfast 3300, Cian McCarthy & Sam Hunt, KYC); 6th Wild Pilgrim (Sunfast 3300, Daniel Jones RORC).

IRC 4: 1st Pyxis (X332, Kirsteen Donaldson, RORC)IRC 4: 1st Pyxis (X332, Kirsteen Donaldson, RORC)

IRC 4: 1st Pyxis (X332, Kirsteen Donaldson, RORC); 2nd Blue Oyster (Oyster 37, Alan Coleman, Royal Cork YC); 3rd Cavatina (Granada 38, Ian Hickey RCYC); 4th More Mischief, (First 310, Grzegorz Kalinecki, Dun Laoghaire).

ISORA: 1st SamatomISORA: 1st Samatom (Robert Rendell)

ISORA: 1st Samatom; 2nd Rockabill VI; 3rd YoYo (Sunfast 36, Graham Curran/Brendan Coghlan, RStGYC); 3rd Indian (J/109. Simon Knowles, Howth YC), 4th Aurelia; 5th Black Magic.

ICRA: 1st Snapshot; 2nd Artful Dodjer; 3rd Samatom; 4th Nieulargo; 5th Cinnamon Girl: 6th Rockabill VI.

Class40: 1st InfluenceClass40: 1st Influence (Pamela Lee)

Class40: 1st Influence; 2nd Kite; 3rd: Fuji.

Two-Handed: 1st BellinoTwo-Handed: 1st Bellino (Rob Craigie)

Two-Handed: 1st Bellino; 2nd Cinnamon Girl; 3rd Wild Pilgrim; 4th Asgard (Sunfast 3300, Ross Farrow, Hamble).

Cruising: 1st Blue Oyster; 2nd Cavatina; 3rd Shindig (Swan 40, Tony Kingston. KYC).

ICRA: 2nd Artful DodjerCorinthian: 1st Artful Dodjer (Finbarr O'Regan)

Corinthian: 1st Artful Dodjer; 2nd Bellino; 3rd Indian; 4th Aurelia, 5th Black Magic; 6th Hiro Maru, S & S 47, Hiroshi Nakajima, New York YC).

Overseas: 1st SL Energies Fastwave; 2nd Bellino; 3rd Wild Pilgrim; 4th Asgard; 5th Hiro Maru; 6th Pyxis

Services: Prime Suspect (Mills 36, Keith Millar, Kilmore Quay).

Sailing Schools: 1st Lynx Wild West Sailing (Mullaghmore). (Reflex 38, Cian Mullee, Sligo YC); 2nd Arthur (First 40, Jim Bennett, RORC); 3rd Jezebel (J/111, Chris Miles, Conwy N.Wales).

The Round Ireland Tracks on the final day – they got beaten up on the west coast, and beaten down on the east while some “interesting” new weather approached from the west.The Round Ireland Tracks on the final day – they got beaten up on the west coast, and beaten down on the east while some “interesting” new weather approached from the west.

The combined results are possibly the greatest advertisement for the Rod Johnstone-inspired J/Boat range that there has ever been. And with just five minutes between first and second overall (the number crunchers tell us it is 0.005 per cent) this was a race which had everyone on the edge of their seats right to the end.

And while Laurent Charmy and his crew are offshore-hardened toughies, you’ll note that although Mike & Richie Evans with Snapshot are also in the ICRA Division, they’re not in the ISORA section, as they aren’t regular offshore racers. In fact, this was their first crack at a major. Ponder that.

Little boat, big achievement – on their first major offshore race, Mike & Richie Evans with the 33ft J/99 Snapshot (HYC) missed the overall win in the Round Ireland by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’BrienLittle boat, big achievement – on their first major offshore race, Mike & Richie Evans with the 33ft J/99 Snapshot (HYC) missed the overall win in the Round Ireland by just five minutes. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

Meanwhile, attention is now swinging towards other events, not least Belfast Lough and Bangor Town Regatta, where senior Race Officer Con Murphy is trying to cram the sport in before the meteorological top comes off tonight.

Most of the official material was in place when it was suddenly announced that Bangor was going to become a city. It was greeted in the former borough with mixed feelings, for the whole point about Bangor – having spent the first 18 years of my life there – is that it doesn’t feel remotely like a city, and that’s one of the best things about the place.

Regatta star - John Minnis’s A35 Final Call racing at Bangor Town Regatta. After winning her class at Howth Wave, she s now performing at Bangor, and will then be racing in Volvo Week in Cork in JulyRegatta star - John Minnis’s A35 Final Call racing at Bangor Town Regatta. After winning her class at Howth Wave, she s now performing at Bangor, and will then be racing in Volvo Week in Cork in July

Yet if it all becomes accepted, next time round we’ll be talking of the City of Bangor Regatta, which as sure as God made little apples will become COBRA. They’re not at all enthusiastic about that up Bangor way. Indeed, muted enthusiasm used to be a Bangor characteristic, even if some photos from the current regatta suggest otherwise.

As it is, one dyed-in-the-wool Bangorian - on observing the charts of the weather currently approaching the new City of Bangor - was heard to assert that they never had adverse sailing weather like this when Bangor was just a town.

When Bangor was just a town, they always had weather like thisWhen Bangor was just a town, they always had weather like this

Published in W M Nixon

The Water Wag Royal Irish Yacht Club regatta race prize was won on Wednesday night by the club's Bairbre Stewart and Pam McKay in light airs in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

The prize was presented by club Commodore Jerry Dowling to the crew of Freddie at Wednesday's glorious RIYC's pre-regatta reception on the clubhouse balcony, ahead of Saturday's Drumshanbo Gin regatta.

Bairbre Stewart and Pam McKay sailing Water Wag Number 43, Freddie to a RIYC Regatta race win. See vid belowBairbre Stewart and Pam McKay sailing Water Wag Number 43, Freddie to a RIYC Regatta race win. See vid below Photo: Brendan Briscoe

Swallow sailed by Justin Geoghegan and Alison Hackett of the Royal St.George Yacht ClubSwallow sailed by Justin Geoghegan and Alison Hackett of the Royal St.George Yacht Club Photo: Brendan Briscoe

Second place was Swallow sailed by Justin Geoghegan and Alison Hackett of the Royal St.George Yacht Club. Clubmates Vincent Delany and Emma Webb were third in Pansy.

A great Water Wag turnout for the inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour RIYC Regatta race on Wednesday evening A great Water Wag turnout for the inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour RIYC Regatta race on Wednesday evening Photo: Brendan Briscoe

Overall, after nine races sailed in the Wag's Jubilee Cup Series, and with three discards in play, RIYC's Guy and Jackie Kilroy lead the 42-boat entry.

As Afloat previously reported, The main RIYC regatta on Saturday promises a jam-packed day ashore on Saturday as well as on the water in Dublin Bay with music, food and of course cocktails.

Details of the day’s entertainment options can be found below and on the RIYC website HERE.

Published in Water Wag

National Dragon Champion Neil Hegarty of the RStGYC took the East Coast title after six races sailed at the Royal Irish Yacht Club hosted event. 

Overnight leader on Saturday, Hegarty sailing with crew Kevin O’Boyle and Charlie Bolger clinched the championship with a final race win on Sunday.

Winds were easterly and shifting between 60 and 90 degrees up to 12 knots with a short chop off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

(Above and below) Overall winner Neil Hegarty (225) takes the pin end in race five of the Dragon East Coast Championships Photo: Afloat(Above and below) Overall winner Neil Hegarty (225) takes the pin end in race five of the Dragon East Coast Championships Photo: Afloat

Overall winner Neil Hegarty (225) takes the pin end in race five of the Dragon East Coast Championships

Sailing with four up, Kinsale Yacht Club's Brian Goggin and crew Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O Connor broke the overnight tie with Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, Stephen Boyle and John Burke in the Sutton Dinghy Club entry 'Phantom Capital' to take second overall on 13 points.

Kinsale Yacht Club's Brian Goggin and crew Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O'Connor on Whisper Photo: AfloatKinsale Yacht Club's Brian Goggin and crew Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O'Connor on Whisper Photo: Afloat

The SDC crew took third overall in the 13-boat fleet on 18 points. 

Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, Stephen Boyle and John Burke from Sutton Dinghy Club were thirdRuan O'Tiarnaigh, Stephen Boyle and John Burke from Sutton Dinghy Club were third

Kinsale will host the prestigious 2024 Dragon Gold Cup, a high point on the calendar after the disappointing cancellation of the 2020 Cup at that venue due to COVID. 

Results are here

Published in Dragon

National Dragon Champion Neil Hegarty of the Royal St. George Yacht Club leads this weekend's class East Coast Championships at the Royal Irish Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

After four races sailed in light westerly winds, Hegarty sailing with Kevin O’Boyle and Charlie Bolger leads by two points from Dragon newcomers Ruan O'Tiarnaigh in Phantom Capital sailing with Stephan Boyle and John Burke of Sutton Dinghy Club.

After one discard applied, Kinsale Yacht Club visitors Brian Goggin, Sean Murphy, Daniel Murphy and John O Connor are tied on seven points with O'Tiarnaigh in the 13-boat fleet. 

Two races are left to sail on Sunday. Results are here

Published in Dragon

The Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour hosted 'An Evening with Tracy Edwards MBE' on Wednesday, May 18th. 

The legendary Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race skipper was welcomed by RIYC Commodore Jerry Dowling and Flag Officers. 

Edwards gave a talk to members and guests from the original Maiden Project through to the Maiden Factor, a global foundation that inspires women and girls all over the world.

In 1989 Edwards skippered Maiden, the first all-female crew, in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, achieving second overall in Class and becoming the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy.

Tracy Edwards is presented with a Royal Irish burgee by Commodore Jerry Dowling during her Dun Laoghaire visit. Photo: Rachel Fallon Langdon/Ocean Images

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

Due to personal reasons, round the world sailor, Tracy Edwards MBE will not be able to attend Royal Irish Yacht Club (RIYC) at Dun Laoghaire for her talk scheduled for Wednesday, March 23rd. 

As Afloat previously reported Edwards skippered her yacht Maiden, the first all-female crew, in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race in 1989, achieving second overall in Class and becoming the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy.

The event will be rescheduled, according to a RIYC statement.

 

 

, the event will be re-schedule for a later date.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

The Royal Irish Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour will host 'An Evening with Tracy Edwards MBE' on Wednesday, 23rd March

In 1989 Edwards skippered Maiden, the first all-female crew, in the Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race, achieving second overall in Class and becoming the first woman to receive the Yachtsman of the Year Trophy.

She will deliver a talk that will take members and guests from the original Maiden Project through to the Maiden Factor, a global foundation that inspires women and girls all over the world.

The talk commences 1900 hrs.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club

The Royal Irish Yacht Club will host a four-class Dun Laoghaire Cup for sportsboats in May with racing for 1720, SB20, J80 and Beneteau First 21 classes. 

The 1720 East Coast Championship, the J80 East Coast Championship and First 21 National Championship will all be staged as part of the Cup running from Saturday 21st – Sunday 22nd May on Dublin Bay.

For the SB20s, it will be the first opportunity to 'cross swords' in what promises to be a very exciting season in the build-up to September's class World Championships being staged the same venue.

As regular readers of Afloat will know, Ireland's only dedicated sportsboat regatta was postponed in 2021 due to COVID.

Download the Notice of Race below 

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club
Tagged under

There are already at least 50 confirmed boats from ten countries entered for the Royal Irish Yacht Club's staging of the 2022 SB20 World Championships on Dublin Bay.

The event will be held from 5th September -10th September 2022 with up to four races per day.

As regular Afloat readers will know, the 2018 European Championships were also hosted by the RIYC, an event that attracted considerable international acclaim.

Joe Conway is Chairman of the Organising Committee for the 2022 big event and the club's own Jack Roy, a Race Officer from the London 2012 Olympic Regatta, will be the Principal Race Officer.

At home, the domestic SB20 scene has been dominated by the Ted crew skippered by Michael O'Connor of the Royal St. George Yacht Club, where achievements included a win at the Lough Ree Nationals.

Published in Royal Irish Yacht Club
Page 1 of 15

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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