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Displaying items by tag: Skerries

Skerries RNLI were tasked on Saturday afternoon (17 September) after Dublin Coast Guard received reports from kayakers that a fishing vessel had sunk off Loughshinny in north Co Dublin and a man was in the water.

The Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched by the volunteers in Skerries shortly before 3pm when they were asked to investigate reports of a man in the water clinging to debris.

As they were arriving on scene, they received an update that the man had been picked up by another fishing boat from Loughshinny and was ashore safely.

One of the volunteers on board is a local doctor, so the lifeboat proceeded into Loughshinny so that he could carry out an assessment of the casualty. However, no further medical assistance was required.

At the request of Dublin Coast Guard, the crew then located the sunken vessel, a razor fishing boat, and recorded the GPS coordinates before recovering any large debris floating on the surface to prevent any further hazards to navigation.

As the boat was on its way back to the station, one of the volunteer shore crew spotted a member of the public having a medical emergency beside the station.

The woman and her family were brought into the station where the volunteers began to administer first aid and called for an ambulance. The lifeboat arrived back and dropped the doctor on board ashore to help with the emergency in the station.

Skerries Coast Guard unit were also on scene and assisted with the casualty care before managing the traffic for the ambulance and assisting with the recovery of the lifeboat to the station.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “We are very proud of our volunteers for their vigilance and professionalism in two very different but equally stressful situations.

“We also saw another fine example of all the emergency services working together, with volunteers and professionals seamlessly pulling together to try and ensure the best outcome.”

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Skerries RNLI were tasked on Thursday morning (8 September) following emergency calls to Dublin Coast Guard reporting a small RIB with a person on board in difficulty off Rush beach.

Pagers were sounded shortly after 11.30am and the volunteers quickly launched the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson.

The lifeboat navigated around the headland at Red Island and through the islands before proceeding towards Rush, around 6km south of Skerries in north Co Dublin.

As they were approaching the area indicated by the concerned caller, the crew obtained a visual on the boat immediately. The lifeboat was positioned alongside the vessel and it was quickly determined that there was nobody on board and that the vessel was securely tied to a mooring.

Dublin Coast Guard on radio were satisfied that it was a false alarm with good intent. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to station in Skerries. Conditions at the time had a fForce 4-5 northeasterly wind with a moderately choppy sea.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “Thankfully in this instance it was a false alarm with good intent. The member of the public was genuinely concerned that someone was in trouble on the water and did the right thing in dialling 999 and asking for the coastguard.”

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Organised by Skerries Coastal Rowing Club, ‘Round Rockabill Rowing Race’ is a gruelling, 15km race into open sea, open to various categories, including FISA, East Coast Skiffs, One Design and more.

At least 25 boats will arrive in Skerries on Saturday 27th August.

The race starts at 10:30 from the south strand in Skerries followed by a 7.5km row straight out towards Rockabill, round it and back again to the south strand for a beach sprint finish!

The event is supported by Fingal Co. Co. and sponsored by local businesses.

Rowers racing in last years round Rockabill race

‘Round Rockabill Rowing Race’ will bring rowing clubs from all over Ireland to our beautiful coastline.

Spectators will have a perfect, unobstructed view of this spectacle from the whole of the south beach and boats will take off in waves, depending on specific handicaps.

Each boat will set off from the south beach in Skerries at 10:30 and row straight out towards the Rockabill lighthouse. Once rounded, the crews will need to row back the same way for a beach sprint finish on the south beach.

Skerries Rowing Club
Skerries Rowing Club is a young and vibrant coastal rowing club, founded in 2012 and celebrating 10 years this year. Today the club consists of over 100 members, from age 11 to over 70, from all sorts of backgrounds with all sorts of abilities and aspirations, from recreational rowing to seriously competitive rowing. Skerries row in clinker-built traditional wooden east-coast skiffs with fixed seats and wooden oars. There are four oars people - each with a sweep oar, and a coxswain. SRC is a member of the East Coast Rowing Council and competes in ECRC regattas most summer weekends against our fellow east coast clubs.

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Skerries RNLI were tasked on Thursday evening (18 August) following 999 calls to Dublin Coast Guard reporting a mother and child on a paddleboard being blown out to sea near Balbriggan.

The north Co Dublin lifeboat’s volunteer crew launched within minutes of pagers sounding shortly after 8pm, headed for a position one mile north of Bremore Point in Balbriggan some 200 metres off shore.

Conditions at the time had a Force 5 westerly wind with a moderately choppy sea.

Arriving on scene, the volunteer crew quickly spotted the casualties and moved the lifeboat alongside them. Having confirmed that they were unable to make their way back to the beach, both mother and child were taken on board the lifeboat, along with their paddleboard.

The crew carried out a quick first aid assessment and decided that the best course of action would be to bring them back to the warmth of the lifeboat station for further observation.

Once ashore in the boathouse, they were checked over by a local GP, who also happened to be one of the crew on board the lifeboat.

The mother and child did not require any further medical assistance and were soon able to leave the station safe and well when a family member arrived to collect them.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “We have responded to a number of paddleboard instances off Balbriggan this summer with offshore breezes making it difficult if not impossible to get back to the beach.

“Thankfully in this case they did the right thing in staying on the board and waiting for help to arrive.

“Remember, if you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Following a busy lead-in to the weekend with three callouts in 24 hours, the volunteers at Skerries RNLI in north Co Dublin were kept on their toes by four calls between Saturday and Sunday.

Shortly before 1pm on Saturday afternoon (13 August), Dublin Coast Guard tasked Skerries RNLI following a 999 call from the public reporting that a child had been cut off by the tide and was stranded on the rocks near Balbriggan Harbour.

As they were arriving on scene, the crew received an update that some swimmers had assisted the person safely to the shore. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to the station in Skerries to be washed down and made ready for service.

Pagers sounded again for the volunteers shortly after 5pm on Saturday following reports of a missing person. However, they were located almost immediately and the volunteers were stood down before the lifeboat was launched.

Shortly before 3pm on Sunday afternoon (14 August) the volunteers launched the lifeboat having been tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to respond to reports of a kayaker missing off Balbriggan.

As they were approaching Balbriggan Harbour, the lifeboat received an update from the coastguard that the person had been located safe and well. Both Skerries RNLI and Clogherhead RNLI, who were also responding as they were on the water when the alarm was raised, were stood down.

The lifeboat had just been recovered to the apron at the boathouse when the volunteers were requested to launch again immediately, following a distress call from a RIB that had suffered engine failure near Lambay Island.

As they were navigating toward Lambay, the crew received an update that another vessel, a tender to a local yacht, was standing by the boat until the lifeboat arrived, and had provided updated GPS coordinates of their position.

The lifeboat navigated to the position given and was on scene in minutes. There were five adults on board the casualty vessel and after a quick check that everyone was safe and well, the vessel was taken under tow.

While the tow was under way, another local yacht, this time with a member of Howth RNLI on board, contacted the lifeboat and offered to take over the tow as they were headed for Howth, the home port of the stricken vessel.

The lifeboat was carefully positioned alongside the yacht and the tow was passed over. The volunteer crew then headed for home to make the lifeboat ready for the next service.

Speaking about the callouts, volunteer lifeboat press officer for Skerries RNLI, Gerry Canning said: “We’ve had an incredibly busy couple of weeks now, responding to calls at all hours of the day. It really highlights the dedication and commitment of all the volunteers at the station.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI responded to their third emergency in 24 hours on Friday evening (12 August) when they were tasked by Dublin Coast Guard to stand by a small boat on Donabate Strand as it refloated after running aground earlier in the day.

Shortly after 8pm, the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched by the volunteers and a course was set to navigate through the islands and south towards Donabate.

As the lifeboat was en route, the crew received an update from the coastguard that the vessel had begun to float. There was one man on board, and he had managed to start his engine and was proceeding towards Malahide.

The lifeboat was requested to escort him to Malahide. However, as they were nearing the scene, they received a further update that the vessel was taking on water.

Oon scene, the lifeboat crew found that the boat was now fully submerged in shallow water, with the man standing on the deck waving his torch to try and attract their attention.

The helm manoeuvred the lifeboat as close as possible and a crew member made their way on to the boat to assess the man’s condition.

While he did not require medical assistance, it was decided that it would be unsafe to attempt to tow the boat, or to transfer him to the lifeboat in the dark, and that the safest course of action would be to walk him back to the beach.

The volunteer crew escorted him safely to the shore where he was greeted and further assisted by Skerries Coast Guard Unit.

Earlier in the day, shortly after 11am, Skerries RNLI were tasked to assist when a person had become trapped on the cliff face at Loughshinny.

The lifeboat was on scene in a matter of minutes and stood by in case the man slipped and entered the water at the base of the cliffs.

Howth Coast Guard Unit, with the assistance of Skerries Coast Guard Unit, successfully carried out a cliff rescue and brought the man to safety at the top of the cliffs. The lifeboat was stood down and returned to base.

On Thursday evening, as the volunteer crew were conducting their scheduled training, they received a VHF radio call from Dublin Coast Guard asking them to investigate reports of people in the water trying to make their way back from Shenick Island.

The lifeboat proceeded towards the island immediately, and as they rounded the headland at Red Island they spotted the group wading towards the shore in chest-deep waters.

They were confident that they could make their own way ashore and declined to be taken into lifeboat. The lifeboat stood by until they reached the safety of the beach before returning to the training session.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “As the warm weather continues we are seeing a huge increase in the number of people enjoying themselves on the water. Unfortunately we are also seeing an increase in the number of launches for our volunteers.

“We would just like to remind everyone to be conscious of their safety. Check the local tides and weather, wear a lifejacket or buoyancy aid if you are going afloat, and always carry a means of calling for help. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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Skerries RNLI were tasked in the early hours of Wednesday morning (10 August) by Dublin Coast Guard after they received a call that a razor clam fishing boat had run aground on rocks in the North Co Dublin town.

Shortly after 3am pagers sounded for the volunteer crew and the Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson was launched swiftly. With the casualty vessel visible from the boathouse, they were on scene almost immediately.

The lifeboat was carefully manoeuvred alongside the vessel to check on the condition of its two crew, who were in injured. The lifeboat crew carried out a quick inspection of the outside of the vessels’ hull and there did not appear to be any significant damage.

The two men wished to stay on board the vessel and wait for the incoming tide to lift it clear of the rocks.

Skerries RNLI escorting the razor clam vessel to Skerries | Credit: RNLI/Joe MaySkerries RNLI escorting the razor clam vessel to Skerries | Credit: RNLI/Joe May

With the potential for any unseen damage to result in another call out, the decision was taken for the lifeboat to return to the vessel and stand by when it began to float.

Shortly after 6am, the lifeboat attached a line to the grounded boat and as it began to float, they towed it clear of the rocks. Once in open water the tow was released, and the boat made its own way to the safety of Skerries Harbour, escorted by the lifeboat.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “It was an early start for our volunteers this morning, and it’s been a very busy week, but we are ready to go 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you see someone in difficulty on or near the water, dial 999 and ask for the coastguard.”

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Skerries RNLI were tasked on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon (1 August) by Dublin Coast Guard following 999 calls reporting a girl being blown out to sea on her paddleboard.

The volunteers in Skerries launched their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson shortly after 2pm within minutes of pagers sounding set a direct course for the reported location off Balbriggan Harbour.

The Irish Coast Guard’s Dublin-based helicopter Rescue 116 and Skerries Coast Guard unit were also tasked.

As the lifeboat was arriving on scene, they received a message from the helicopter that girl had been separated from her board and was in the water. The helicopter maintained a visual on the casualty and guided the lifeboat to her position.

As the lifeboat approached it became obvious that the girl was starting to tire and struggling to reach for the boat. One of the volunteer crew entered the water and swam to her to keep her afloat and assist her towards the lifeboat.

Once on board, a first aid assessment was carried out. She was tired and cold but did not appear to need any medical assistance.

The lifeboat was positioned into shallow water before one of the crew helped the girl to the shore where she was handed into the care of her parents and the Skerries Coast Guard unit.

The lifeboat then retrieved the paddleboard and the leash, which had become separated from the board, before returning to the station in Skerries.

Conditions at the time had a Force 3 southwesterly wind with slight seas and good visibility.

Speaking about the callout, volunteer lifeboat press officer Gerry Canning said: “Unfortunately we are seeing a rise in calls to paddleboards and kayaks. The breeze can take a person away from the shore quite quickly.

“Our advice is to always wear a lifejacket and carry a means of contacting the shore, even if you don’t intend on going far from the shore.”

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Volunteers at Skerries RNLI raced into action on Friday afternoon (10 June) around 1pm following a 999 call reporting two children being blown out to sea on an inflatable from Bettystown beach.

The crew encountered heavy squalls heading north to the location in their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat, and with the increased risk to the casualties they requested that Clogherhead RNLI in Co Louth assist in the search.

As the team from Clogherhead were making their way south in their all-weather lifeboat, Skerries RNLI located the casualty vessel — which turned out to be a yellow kayak containing personal belongings but no one on board or in the water nearby.

Dublin Coast Guard issued a Mayday before tasking the Dublin-based Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 as well as the Drogheda Coast Guard land unit.

The lifeboat from Skerries immediately began a search pattern in the area, while Clogherhead RNLI commenced a parallel search of the shore from the mouth of the Boyne heading south.

Shortly after the search patterns had begun, Rescue 116 requested Clogherhead RNLI to divert from their course to investigate an object in the water near Gormanstown beach.

However, as they were making their way to the coordinates given, Dublin Coast Guard reported that the owners of the kayak had made contact and confirmed that they were ashore in Bettystown and were safe and well.

The Mayday was cancelled and all units were stood down and returned to their respective bases.

Conditions at the time has a Force 4-5 westerly wind with slight swells and good visibility. There were occasional strong squalls with winds increasing to Force 6 and visibility reduced to poor.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI press officer Gerry Canning said: “There were two black back supports in the kayak so it’s very easy to see how the person who dialled 999 and asked for the coastguard genuinely believed that someone was in difficulty.

“Thankfully in this case it was a false alarm, but they did exactly what we want people to do when they see someone in trouble.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

Skerries RNLI were tasked on Bank Holiday Monday evening (6 June) by Dublin Coast Guard following 999 calls reporting an injured swimmer in Rush Harbour who was unable to get out of the water.

Pagers sounded shortly before 5.30pm and the volunteer crew quickly assembled to launch their Atlantic 85 inshore lifeboat Louis Simson, setting a course for Rush.

When the lifeboat arrived on scene, there were already two Dublin Fire Brigade personnel in the water stabilising the injured man, who had jumped into the sea from the harbour and struck submerged rocks below.

Irish Coast Guard helicopter Rescue 116 was also on scene, however given the nature of the man’s injuries, winching him directly out of the water risked causing further discomfort or injury.

The helicopter proceeded instead to land in a nearby field which Skerries Coast Guard had secured as a landing zone.

Three crew members from Skerries RNLI entered the water and assisted the fire brigade in placing the man on a spinal board. They then carefully floated him around the harbour wall, into the harbour and ashore.

From there he was transferred by Skerries Coast Guard unit to an awaiting ambulance, which in turn brought him to the helicopter for onwards transport to hospital. Members of An Garda Síochána were also assisting on scene.

Speaking about the callout, Skerries RNLI press officer Gerry Canning said: “All of the emergency services really pulled together to ensure this man got the help he needed.

“We would advise anyone jumping the into the water to look for obstructions and check the depth of the water, every time, even if you know the area. Tides can vary and underwater objects can move. We wish the man a full and speedy recovery.”

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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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