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Displaying items by tag: Shane O'Driscoll

#Rowing: Paul O’Donovan finished sixth of the eight competitors who reached the A Final of the Premier Single Sculls at the North Island Club Rowing Championships in New Zealand. Robbie Manson, the top heavyweight single sculler won. Gary O’Donovan took third place in the B Final.

 Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll won their B Final of the Premier Pair, taking ninth overall. Max Murphy, the former UCD captain, was part of the Waikato senior pair which finished fourth in their final.  

North Island Rowing Championships, Lake Karapiro, New Zealand (Irish interest)

Men

Premier Pair – B Final: 1 Skibbereen (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll)  6:43.34.  

Senior Pair – Final: 4 Waikato (M Murphy, T Bedford) 6:51.51.

Premier Single – A Final: 1 R Manson 6:39.58; 6 Skibbereen (P O’Donovan) 6:54.63. B Final: 3 Skibbereen (G O’Donovan) 6:57.21.  

 

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll competed as a heavyweight pair at the North Island Championships in New Zealand today. The world champions in the lightweight pair, who have switched to heavyweight in the hope of competing at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, finished fourth in their heat.

 Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan both finished sixth in their heats of the single sculls. Both also competed as heavyweights.

 All three boats move into repechages on Sunday.

Published in Rowing

#Rowers of the Year: The Afloat Rowers of the Year for 2017 are Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan. The two formed the Ireland lightweight pair which won European and World Championship gold. They also won gold in each of the three World Cup regattas, in Belgrade, Poznan and Lucerne. Their glorious run was the pay-off for enormous amounts of work – and a drive which came from their determination to make their mark after coming up short the in 2016, when they finished fourth at the World Championships.

 The two have opted to move up to heavyweight with the aim of competing at the Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020. Afloat wishes them every success.   

Afloat Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times, and David O'Brien, editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year appeared on afloat.ie.

Published in Rower of the Year

#Rowing: Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan have been nominated for the Team of the Year at the RTÉ Sports Awards for 2017. The world champions in the lightweight pair could take over from Paul O’Donovan and Gary O’Donovan, who won in 2016. The awards will be presented on Saturday, December 16th. The public can vote on the night.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll, the world champions in the lightweight pair, have decided to go heavyweight. “We have to do this. We want to go to an Olympics and this is the best way of going," O’Driscoll told The Southern Star.

 Only one lightweight boat, the lightweight double, is an Olympic discipline. Paul and Gary O’Donovan took silver at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. They recently showed good form at the Ireland trial.

 Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan have been bulking up and O’Driscoll said they were ready to take on this “new chapter” in their competitive lives. “Before we raced the World Championships we had decided to go heavyweight,” he said. “We had one regatta left before we made that decision and we really wanted to win that World Championship.”

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O'Donovan have been honoured at the Irish Youth Foundation Excellence in Sport Awards. The world champions in the lightweight pair received their awards at the charity event hosted by golfer Padraig Harrington on Monday night in Dublin.

 Other recipients included rugby great Paul O’Connell, European gold medal winning sprinter Gina Akpe-Moses, father-and-son horse racing duo Aidan O’Brien and Joseph O’Brien, World Rugby Referee of the Year Joy Neville and Olympic boxer Michael Carruth.

 Lions rugby coach, Warren Gatland, the Dublin Gaelic football team and the Irish Show Jumping Team were also honoured.

 “This is the first national recognition award we’ve received since the World Championships and it means an awful lot to us,” O’Driscoll said. “It’s nice to reflect on your achievements and we’re delighted to be recognised. It will keep us going for a while, now that we’re back into the hard slog of winter training.

 “It’s also nice to have rowing recognised, because it’s such a great sport. You can take it up at any age and it’s such good fun. Anyone, young or old, can jump in a boat!” he said.

 The rowing stars were interviewed on stage at the ceremony by RTÉ sports presenter Joanne Cantwell, who asked what they had done differently this year to achieve their world level success.

 “We had a bit more belief in ourselves and to put it simply, we didn’t want to come fourth again. We wanted to win a medal at every regatta,” O’Driscoll said.

 “We focused on overcoming our doubts and giving it everything because there’s no point in going out there if you think you can’t do it or you’re not 100 per cent committed and I think that’s something all the sports people in the audience could identify with.”

 Speaking about sharing the stage with other sports stars, the Skibbereen  oarsman said: “It was great to be up there with people like Paul O’Connell. He’s a living legend and when he stood up to speak, the whole room just went quiet. He was a very inspirational speaker and he talked about the fact that since he’s retired, he only remembers good things about his sports career, even though he probably found it all very challenging at the time. So it was great to hear insights like that.”

 O’Driscoll said that he and O’Donovan were honoured to receive the award from such a worthwhile organisation.

 “We got a real insight into the work of the Irish Youth Foundation at the awards and when you hear about the hardship some young people experience, it’s shocking. It makes you feel so privileged and I’m glad that sport can be a positive outlet for so many young people.”

 All proceeds from the black tie fundraising event go toward the Irish Youth Foundation’s work with children and young people living in disadvantaged circumstances. The charity works primarily in the areas of  homelessness, after-school education, primary-to-secondary school transition and skills and employability. Last year the Excellence in Sport Awards raised over €100,000.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: A quadruple featuring three Ireland lightweight internationals finished 15th at the Head of the River Fours in London. Gary O’Donovan, Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan joined Niall Kenny in the Tideway Scullers’ crew.  They had serious equipment problems which affected their steering from early in the race.

Head of the River Fours, London (Irish interest): 15 Tideway Scullers’ School E 20 52.2

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Ireland gold medallists Paul O’Donovan, Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan arrived back in Ireland today from the World Rowing Championships in Florida. They flew from Orlando to Dublin where family and friends greeted them. They were accompanied by Gary O’Donovan, an Olympic medallist in 2016 and reserve for the World Championships team. This evening they will be honoured at a reception in Skibbereen.  

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Ireland team which brought the country glory at the World Rowing Championships in Florida are the Afloat Rowers of the Month for September. In that month, Ireland took two gold medals through Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll in the lightweight pair and Paul O’Donovan in the lightweight single sculls.

 The pair crowned the perfect season with their victory. They won gold at the three World Cup regattas and the European Championships. The pressure was on in World Championship final, with both Brazil and Italy rowing well on the day. But O’Donovan and O’Driscoll were peerless. They set a very high stroke rate, took the lead – and saw off their challengers.

 Paul O’Donovan retained the title he had taken with such an extraordinary set of performances in Rotterdam in 2016, just weeks after he had taken a silver at the Olympic Games in a lightweight double with his brother Gary. This time, Gary had to drop out of the lightweight double, as illness had restricted his training (he supported the team as a reserve). Paul was back in the lightweight single in a boat which was new to him. He won all four races (heat, quarter-final, semi-final and final), seeing off a new set of challengers in the lightweight single, including Matthew Dunham of New Zealand, who took silver, and Kris Brun of Norway (bronze).

 The rest of the Ireland team also gave the suppporters plenty to shout about. Sanita Puspure went on to take fourth in the single sculls and Denise Walsh reached the A Final of the lightweight single sculls, where she finished sixth. Two new heavyweight pairs gained experience of the top level as the team targets Tokyo 2020. Aileen Crowley and Aifric Keogh finished eighth and there was a 16th place for Patrick Boomer and Fionnán McQuillan-Tolan.

 Well done to all the members of the Ireland team, the Afloat Rowers of the Month for September.  

Rower of the Month awards: The judging panel is made up of Liam Gorman, rowing correspondent of The Irish Times, and David O'Brien, editor of Afloat magazine. Monthly awards for achievements during the year will appear on afloat.ie. Keep a monthly eye on progress and watch our 2017 champions list grow.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll won their heat to qualify directly for the A Final of the lightweight pair at the World Rowing Championships.

 Italy took an early lead, but Ireland took over in the second quarter. Britain challenged but O’Donovan and O’Driscoll won by over five seconds.   

World Rowing Championships, Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida – Day One – Irish Interest:

Men

Lightweight Pair – Heat One (First to A Final; rest to Repechage): 1 Ireland (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll) 6:33.20, 2 Britain (J Cassells, S Scrimgeour) 6:38.57, 3 Italy 6:40.39.

Published in Rowing
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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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