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Displaying items by tag: Skibbereen

#Rowing: UCD won only their second senior men's eights Championship of Ireland since 1973 at the National Rowing Centre today. They last won in 2011. They had a clearwater lead by half way and never let it go.

The senior women's eight saw NUIG/Castleconnell also win well. The stern pair of Sadhbh O'Connor and Fiona Murtagh were taking their fourth titles of the weekend.

The final session of the Irish Championships started with a UCD win in the men's novice eight and continued with Ruth Morris of Commercial moving well clear to win the women's intermediate sngle sculls.

Colaiste Iognaid won a battle with Commercial in the men's junior pair, while Lee's junior women matched their junior men by winning the quadruple.

The final race of the whole event, the men's intermediate double, was won by Skibbereen.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Cork clubs had a set of good results in the first session of Sunday finals at the Irish Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre.

Cork Boat Club's junior women's pair started the ball rolling, while Skibbereen then took their second title of Championships as Aodhan Burns proved a strong winner of the lightweight single sculls.

Margaret Cremen of UCC had a huge win in the lightweight single sculls, and Lee added the junior men's double to the junior quadruple title they had won on Saturday.

The tighest finish came in the men's club coxed four. NUIG made a tremendous effort to catch St Michael's of Limerick but they fell short by just .329 of a second.

Commercial of Dublin and Fermanagh's Enniskillen Royal Boat Club are having a good reatta. Enniskillen won the men's intermediate pair, while Commercial won the womens intermediate coxed four.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Seven different clubs won in the second session of finals on the second day of the Irish Championships. The races were run in hot sunshine.

Two women's finals senior finals were won in emphatic fashion. Georgia O'Brien of Kenmare won in the women's senior single sculls to give the club its second Championship. NUIG were also well in control in their victory in the women's senior pair.

Sadhbh Scully of Carlow, who is a junior, followed the trend in her big win in the women's club single sculls.

The women's junior 18 eights was a tighter affair, though Bann, once in the lead, held on strongly to rebuff Enniskillen.  

The men's junior quadruple was a big event, with Lee taking the title ahead of Three Castles and Neptune.

Cork clubs are having a good Championships, and UCC took the women's club eights.

Skibbereen figured strongly in some finals, but had their first Championship win when Kealan Mannix won the intermediate single sculls from Shane Haugh of Castleconnell.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Grace Prendergast and Kerri Gowler, the world’s best women’s pair, beat Sadhbh O’Connor and Natalie Long of NUIG and Skibbereen in the heat of the Hambleden Pairs at Henley Royal Regatta today. The Irish women, who had qualified, saw the New Zealanders move away from them and win well.  

Henley Royal Regatta, Day Three (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Hambleden Pairs (Women’s Pairs, Open): G Prendergast, K Gowler bt S O’Connor, N Long

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Orla Hayes was beaten by Jordan Lara Cole-Hossain in the Princess Royal, for open single sculls at Henley Royal Regatta today. The Thames Rowing Club sculler had a big advantage over her Skibbereen opponent down the course, and won easily.

Hayes had qualified for this tough event.

Henley Royal Regatta, Day Two (Irish interest)

Visitors (Men’s Four, Club and University): UCD bt Leander Club 2¼ l.

Fawley (Junior Men’s Quadruple): Christiana Roklub, Norway bt Enniskillen RBC 1/3 l.

Princess Royal (Women’s Single, Open): JL Cole-Hossain Orla Hayes (Skibbereen) easily

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The standout names in the Irish entry for Henley Royal Regatta are Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll. The world lightweight champions of 2017 have entered the Silver Goblets for open pairs.

 The Irish challenge features Commercial in the Thames Cup for club eights and UCD’s four in the Visitors. Both crews are Irish champions. Enniskillen have chosen to enter quadruples in the Fawley and the Diamond Jubilee.

 UCD, who compete at Henley Women’s Regatta this weekend, have entered the open event for women’s eights, the Remenham.  Orla Hayes of Skibbereen has entered the Princess Royal, the open event for women's single scullers.

Henley Royal Regatta, July 3rd to 7th (Selection of Entries, Irish interest)

Remenham Cup (Women’s Eights, Open): UCD

Thames (Men’s Eight, Club): Commercial

Visitors (Men’s Four, Club and University): UCD

Prince of Wales (Men’s Quadruple, Club and University): Lagan Scullers’

Fawley (Men’s Quadruple, Junior): Enniskillen Royal Boat Club

Diamond Jubilee Cup (Women’s Quadruple, Junior): Enniskillen Royal Boat Club

Britannia (Men’s Fours, coxed, Club): Belfast Rowing Club

Silver Goblets (Men’s Pairs, Open): Mark O’Donovan and Shane O’Driscoll (Skibbereen)

Hambleden Pairs (Women’s Pairs, Open): Sadhbh O’Connor and Natalie Long (NUIG and Skibbereen)

Double Sculls (Men’s Double, Open): Nathan Hull and OJ Dix (Queen’s, Belfast and Leander)

Stonor Trophy (Women’s Double Sculls, Open): Fiona Chestnutt, CK Knight (Reading Univ and Newcastle Univ)

Diamond Sculls (Men’s Single, Open): Callum McCrae (Cambridge Univ Lightweight RC)

Princess Royal (Women’s Single, Open): Orla Hayes (Skibbereen)

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Commercial beat UCD and Cork Boat Club to take the men's eights at Skibbereen Grand League Regatta at the National Rowing Centre today. Commercial seemed to be in a commanding lead coming up to the viewing area, but UCD chased them down and were under two seconds behind at the finish, with Cork not much further back.

The women's eights went, as expected, to UCC, while Holly Davis, who is just 14, won the Division Two single sculls by a huge margin.

Published in Rowing
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#Rowing: Two junior crews which are set to represent Ireland this season had good wins in Saturday's second session at Skibbereen Regatta at the National Rowing Centre. The junior women's quadruple of Anna Tyther (Killorglin), Sadhbh Scully of Carlow, Aoife Lynch of Lee and Lucy McCoy of Belfast Boat Club beat the UCC/Skibbereen seniors: Orla Hayes, Niamh Casey, Aoife Casey and Lydia Heaphy. The junior men's coxed four, which is set to compete at the World Junior Championships, also won their Division One final. At Portadown, the good run by Carrick on Shannon continued, as their junior women's double and quad won, adding to the win in the junior single by Shauna Murtagh.
Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Skibbereen had a one-two-three in the men's single sculls at their own regatta at the National Rowing Centre today. Gary O'Donovan, who was returning to racing after a hand injury, won his heat, but finished second to Fintan McCarthy in the final, with Aodhan Burns third. Paul O'Donovan was absent because of exam pressures.

UCC's Margaret Cremen won the women's single, while Holly Davis of Lee Valley, a junior 14 competitor, finished an excellent third. Sanita Puspure, whose boat had not made it back from the training camp in Italy, missed the event.

A tricky wind made conditions difficult, although this improved as the day went on.

The pairs titles were claimed by proven internationals: Mark O'Donovan and Shane O'Driscoll and Aifric Keogh and Monika Dukarska.

Brian Colsh of Sligo and Shauna Murtagh of Carrick-on-Shannon came out on top in the junior 18 single sculls at Portadown. The junior 16 eights titles, boys' and girls', went to Enniskillen RGS.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Afloat Rower of the Year 2018 is Sanita Puspure. The Old Collegians competitor proved herself the best single sculler in the world. She took silver at the World Cup regattas in Belgrade and Lucerne, running the defending champion, Jeannine Gmelin of Switzerland, extremely close (.23 of a second) in the Lucerne final.

Working with coach Dave McKenzie McGowan and high performance director Antonio Maurogiovanni, who set a very heavy training schedule, Puspure decided to miss the European Championships so that she could concentrate on the World Championships in Plovdiv in Bulgaria in September. She won her heat and semi-final, and then overcame bobbly conditions in the final. She established a clearwater lead. Gmelin came back at her in the third quarter; Puspure was not for catching. She won by two lengths of clear water.

Sanita Gmelin glum Lobnig podiumSanita Puspure (centre) smiles after being presented with her gold medal at the World Championships. Jeannine Gmelin (silver) is on the left and Magdalena Lobnig (bronze) on the right. Photo: Liam Gorman

Sanita with Dani and Patrick and gold medalSanita with Daniella and Patrick, her children, after winning World Championship gold. Photo: Liam Gorman

The win was a twin highlight at the end of a wonderful year. The O’Donovan brothers, Gary and Paul, won the lightweight double sculls gold in Plovdiv, making history as the first Ireland crew to take World Championship gold in an Olympic boat. They overcame terrible conditions and a poor lane draw to win in the quarter-final. This was succeeded by a semi-final in which they looked tired and could only take third. The final saw them in the unfavoured lane six for the final.

Gary Paul podium Plovdiv with Italy and Belgium 1Ireland gold medalists Gary and Paul O'Donovan on the World Championship podium in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, with Italy (silver) and Belgium (bronze)

In a stirring race, the Skibbereen men saw off Italy. They would describe it as the best race they had ever rowed. They were outstanding in their steadiness, and over the second, third and fourth quarters they were the fastest crew. They took over the lead from Italy between 1200 and 1500 metres and rebuffed the charge by the men in blue to win by three-quarters of a length.

 In a first for a women’s sweep crew from this island in an Olympic boat, Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty, the Ireland women’s pair, also reached an A Final at the World Championships. The World Under-23 Championships were also laden with success, with four A Finalists, gold for Shane Mulvaney and David O’Malley in the lightweight pair and silver for Miles Taylor, Niall Beggan, Ryan Ballantine and Andrew Goff in the lightweight quadruple.

 Come the Fisa World Rowing Awards, Dominic Casey was honoured as the coach of the year.  

 In a season of success, Sanita Puspure is the Afloat Rower of the Year.

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
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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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