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#Rowing: UCD’s Eimear Lambe and Aileen Crowley had an impressive win in the women’s senior pair in the deferred finals at the start of the third day of the Irish Championships at the National Rowing Centre. Skibbereen and Cork were in the touch with the UCD women until 1500 metres, but Lambe and Crowley left the rest behind from there and won by 10 seconds from Skibbereen.

Queen’s were also impressive in their win in the men’s novice eight, and Sanita Puspure won the senior single sculls with plenty to spare.

The junior 16 men’s eight went to Enniskillen, who thus completed the set of wins: the junior 18 and 16 eights for men and women.

Irish Rowing Championships, National Rowing Centre, Day Three (Selected Results)

Men

Eight – Novice: Queen’s 6:21.56.

Sculling, Quadruple – Junior: 1 Three Castles 6:21.53, 2 Shandon 6:22.75, 3 Clonmel 6:23.05.

Women

Pair – Senior: UCD (A Crowley, E Lambe) 7:37.41.

Sculling, Single – Senior: Old Collegians (S Pupsure) 8:02.64.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: A bumper weekend of racing is in store in Cork as the 2017 Irish Rowing Championships take place at the National Rowing Centre from Friday, July 14th to Sunday, July 16th. The event will showcase some of the best rowing Ireland has to offer with 1049 crews competing in 264 races.

 The National Rowing Centre will welcome 60 clubs, including Waterville and Flesk Valley, who will compete at the Championships for the first time, as well as a re-formed Newry Rowing Club.

 High Performance athletes including Gary and Paul O’Donovan, Sanita Puspure and Claire Lambe will be among those competing for the much coveted “Pots”, as well as European Champions Shane O’Driscoll and Mark O’Donovan, and European Silver medallist Denise Walsh.

 Three superb days of racing were enjoyed at last year’s Championships, which came to a spectacular end with the men’s senior eights being fought right to the line. Commercial Rowing Club came away with the “Big Pot” in the end after a thrilling race, which saw them finishing less than a second ahead of rivals UCD.

 Skibbereen, in combination with UCC, won the women’s senior eight. That win took Skibbereen’s overall tally for the Championships to 13 – they now have 163 titles in total, 11 clear of nearest rivals, Neptune (152).

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Skibbereen/UCC composite won the women’s eights with the final few strokes at the Cork Grand League Regatta today. NUIG led them coming up to the line, but the winners finished faster to win by three tenths of a second. Cork were the best junior 18 eight.

UCD won the men’s eights by holding off NUIG. The finish was close, but UCD had led down the course and refused to yield. Neptune took the junior 18 honours by holding off St Joseph’s of Galway in the B Final.

Cork Regatta, National Rowing Centre, Cork, Day Two (Selected Results)

Men

Eight – Division One – A Final: 1 UCD (N Farrell, R Thompson, E O’Connor, C O’Riada, E Gleeson, A Griffin, T Doherty, M Murphy; cox: O Reid; senior) 5:51.05, 2 NUIG (sen) 5:51.91, 3 UCD (inter) 6:05.098; 4 Cork (club one) 6:05.46. B Final: 4 Neptune (Jun 18A) 6:13.69.

Four – Div One – A Final: 1 NUIG (sen) 6:16.41. Four, coxed – Div Two – A Final: 1 Queen’s B (club two) 6:53.69, 2 St Michael’s (jun 18B) 6:56.53; 6 Presentation, Cork (jun 16) 7:33.61.

Sculling,

Quadruple, Div Two, coxed – A Final: 1 Carlow (jun 18B) 6:43.70; 3 Castleconnell (jun 16) 6:53.53; 4 Shandon (club two) 6:54.67.

Double – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan; sen) 6:25.51, 2 Commercial, UCD (N Beggan, A Goff; sen) 6:27.62, 3 Skibbereen (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll; sen) 6:37.997; 5 Three Castles A (jun 18A) 6:49.76. B Final: St Michael’s (inter) 6:51.20.

Single – Div Two – A Final: 1 Three Castles (A Keogh; jun 16) 7:29.64, 2 Cappoquin (S Landers; club two) 7:35.39; 6 Killorglin (J McCarthy; Jun 18B) 7:52.86.

Women

Eight – Div One – A Final: 1 Skibbereen/UCC (O Hayes, F O’Keeffe, A Casey, E McCarthy A Keogh, E Hegarty, N Casey, D Walsh; cox C O’Connell; senior) 6:37.94, 2 NUIG (sen) 6:38.30; 5 NUIG (club one) 6:58.38. B Final: 1 Cork (jun 18A) 7:00.93; 2 Shandon (inter) 7:02.79.

Four – Div One – A Final: 1 Skibbereen, UCC (N Casey, E Hegarty, A Keogh, D Walsh; sen) 6:59.0. B Final: Col Iognaid (jun 18A) 7:39.68. Div Two, coxed – A Final: Trinity (club two) 7:41.79.

Sculling, Double – Div One – A Final: 1 Cork (inter) 7:19.591, 2 Lee (jun 18A) 7:23.45. B Final: 2 Carlow (club one) 7:40.31. Div Two – A Final: 1 Neptune (J Poh; club two) 8:40.47, 2 Kenmare (E Crowley; jun 18B) 8:42.76; 3 Neptune (N Clarke; jun 16) 8:46.62.

 

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Irish crews had a very successful second day at the Metropolitan Regatta at Dorney Lake. Monika Dukarska of Killorglin and the Skibbereen double of Denise Walsh and Aoife Casey won in the top single and double sculls races, but other crews also impressed. NUIG’s women’s eight finished third in the A Final in Tier One – the crew, which has a number of novice rowers, had also taken third in the morning time trial. Trinity, UCC, Shandon, Galway, Cork and UCD were amongst the crews which also came away with encouraging results over the weekend.

Metropolitan Regatta, Dorney Lake, Day Two (Selected Results; Irish interest)

Men

Eights – Tier One, Final B: 2 NUIG A, 3 UCD (A). Final C: 1 Trinity 6:07.65. Final D: 2 UCD. Final F: 1 NUIG (B) 6:25.61. Final I: 2 Trinity (D), 3 UCD (C).

Four – Tier Three Final: 1 UCC 6:36.53.

Four, coxed – Championship Final: 3 NUIG (B).

Pair – Tier Two Final: 2 UCC

Sculling, Double

Tier Two Final: 2 Shandon

Women

Eight – Tier One – Final A: 3 NUIG (A). Final B: 2 Commercial. Final C: 3 Galway. Final D: 2 NUIG.

Four, coxed – Tier Three: 3 Galway Rowing Club.

Pair - Tier One Final: 2 Cork (G Collins, L Dilleen)

Sculling, Double – Tier One Final: 1 Skibbereen 7:17.56.

Single – Tier One: 1 Killorglin (M Dukarska); 3 UCD (A Crowley).

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The Afloat Rowers of the Month for April are the UCD men’s senior eight. The crew, stroked by David O’Malley, beat Commercial, the champions of Ireland, at Skibbereen Regatta. They went on to Trinity Regatta and beat the hosts with another fine performance.

The winning crew at Skibbereen Regatta was: Sam Bolger, Shane O’Connell, Tiarnan Doherty, Max Murphy, Shane Mulvaney, Andrew Griffin, Eoin Gleeson, David O’Malley, Orlagh Reid (cox). James O’Sullivan replaced Shane O’Connell in the crew for Trinity.

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: Cork Boat Club had a good day at Limerick Regatta at O’Brien’s Bridge today. They won the the men’s intermediate eight and senior pair and the women’s junior 18 eight. UCD won the women’s novice eight and Daire Lynch of Clonmel, who won the single sculls time trial in a very fast time (five minutes and nine seconds), went on to take the senior and intermediate singles titles.

Limerick Regatta, O’Brien’s Bridge (Selected Results)

Men

Eight – Intermediate: Cork. Club: Neptune. Jun 18: Neptune. Masters – Final One (b-c): St Michael’s A. Final Two (d-e): Athlone. Jun 16: Col Iognaid.

Four – Sen: St Michael’s. Inter, coxed: Cork. Jun 18A, coxed: St Michael’s.

Pair – Senior: Cork. Jun 18: Clonmel.

Sculling

Quad – Sen: Carlow. Nov, coxed: UCC. Jun 18A: Carlow. Jun 16, coxed: CRCC.

Double – Inter: Castleconnell B.

Single – Senior: Clonmel (D Lynch). Inter: Clonmel (D Lynch). Jun 18A: Clonmel (A Butler). Jun 16: Castleconnell (R O’Neill). Masters – Final One: Lady Elizabeth (B Smyth). Final Two: Cork (B Crean). Final Three: Galway (A McCallion).

Women

Eight – Nov: UCD. Jun 18: Cork. Jun 16: St Michael’s.

Four – Sen: Shannon. Inter, coxed: Shannon. Jun 18: Col Iognaid.

Pair – Sen: Fermoy. Jun 18: Fermoy.

Sculling

Quadruple Novice, coxed: Cappoquin. Jun 18: Cork. Jun 16, coxed: Killorglin. Masters, coxed: Univ of Limerick

Double – Inter: Carlow.

Single – Inter: Garda (B Larsen). Jun 18A: Carlow (C Nolan). Jun 16: Cork (C O’Sullivan). Masters: Offaly (C Nolan).

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: UCD’s senior eight beat Trinity by two and a quarter lengths at Trinity Regatta today. The very strong crew, stroked by David O’Malley, fashioned a lead after the second bend and held off the hosts. This may be the last time this crew rows together competitively as O’Malley, Shane Mulvaney and Shane O’Connell (who did now row at Trinity) will be called up for international duty.

In a cracking junior 18 eight final, Commercial just pipped neighbours and rivals Neptune. Garda’s Damien Kelly and Piers Ryan won the senior doubles race. Commercial, who won the women’s senior eight, also took the women’s junior 18 eight.

Trinity Regatta, Islandbridge (Selected Results)

Men

Eight – Senior: UCD bt Trinity, 2 ¼ l. Club: Trinity bt UCD did not finish. Inter: UCD bt Cork BC row over. Novice: Queen’s bt Trinity easily. Junior: Commercial bt Neptune half canvas. Masters: Neptune bt Commercial ½ l.

Four – Inter, coxed: UCD bt Cork row over. Club, coxed: Neptune bt UCD A disq. Masters, coxed: Neptune bt Graiguenamanagh easily. Junior, coxed: Commercial bt Neptune row over.

Pair – Senior: UCD bt KSRV Nord easily

Sculling,

Quadruple – Nov, coxed: Commercial bt Sligo easily. Jun 18B, coxed: Commercial bt Blackrock easily. Jun 16: Commercial bt Three Castles 2l.

Double – Senior: Garda bt Tralee/Shandon 3/4l

Single – Inter: Sligo (Patterson) bt Commercial (Casey) easily. Club One: Portadown (N Hull) bt Shannon (C Carmody) 2 ½ l. Jun 18: Neptune (J Butler) bt Commercial (K Brown) 4l. Jun 16: Three Castles (Keogh) bt Three Castles (Flynn) easily. Masters: Athlone bt Commercial 3l.

Women

Eight – Senior: Commercial bt Trinity 3 ½ l Club, coxed: Commercial bt Trinity 2l. Nov: Trinity A bt KSRV Njord 2l. Jun 18: Commercial bt Graiguenamanagh easily. Jun 16: Graiguenamanagh bt Athlone easily.

Four – Inter, coxed: Trinity B bt Trinity A 1l. Club, coxed: Commercial B t Commercial A 3l.

Sculling – Quadruple – Novice, coxed: Commercial bt UCD easily.

Double - Senior: Neptune bt KSRV Njord easily.

Single – Inter: Neptune (Feerick) bt Athlone (Curley) easily. Club: Neptune (A Clark) bt Garda (J Ryan) 3l. Nov: Commercial (Ballot) bt Graiguenamanagh (B Hennessy) 3l. Jun 16: Neptune (Clarke) bt Neptune (Daymon) 2l.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Commercial beat Trinity in the women’s senior eights at Trinity Regatta today. Commercial were the more powerful crew and once they took the lead the held it to win by three and a half lengths. UCD’s senior men’s pair came out on top, while Jack Butler of Neptune was the top junior single sculler.

Trinity Regatta, Islandbridge (Selected Results)

Men

Eight – Club: Trinity bt UCD did not finish. Inter: UCD bt Cork BC row over. Masters: Neptune bt Commercial ½ l.

Four – Club, coxed: Neptune bt UCD A disq. Masters, coxed: Neptune bt Graiguenamanagh easily. Junior, coxed: Commercial bt Neptune row over.

Pair – Senior: UCD bt KSRV Nord easily

Sculling,

Quadruple – Nov, coxed: Commercial bt Sligo easily. Jun 18B, coxed: Commercial bt Blackrock easily. Jun 16: Commercial bt Three Castles 2l.

Single – Inter: Sligo (Patterson) bt Commercial (Casey) easily. Jun 18: Neptune (J Butler) bt Commercial (K Brown) 4l.

Women

Eight – Senior: Commercial bt Trinity 3 ½ l Club, coxed: Commercial bt Trinity 2l. Nov: Trinity A bt KSRV Njord 2l. Jun 16: Graiguenamanagh bt Athlone easily.

Four – Inter, coxed: Trinity B bt Trinity A 1l. Junior, coxed:

Sculling – Double - Senior: Neptune bt KSRV Njord easily.

Single – Inter: Neptune (Feerick) bt Athlone (Curley) easily. Club: Neptune (A Clark) bt Garda (J Ryan) 3l. Jun 16: Neptune (Clarke) bt Neptune (Daymon) 2l.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: UCD won the men’s senior eights at Skibbereen Regatta today. They led Commercial with 500 metres to go and the Irish champions could not head the men in blue and saffron. The senior women’s eight was won by a Skibbereen/UCC composite which drove away from their opponents impressively over the final 100 metres.

Skibbereen Grand League Regatta, National Rowing Centre (Selected Results; with Per Centage of Projected World Gold Medal Winning Time)

Sunday

Men

Eight – Div One – A Final: 1 UCD (sen) 5:44.4 (92.62), 2 Commercial (sen) 5:46.3 (92.13), 3 UCD (inter) 5:54.9 (89.9); 5 Enniskillen (jun 18A) 6:00.6 (88.46). B Final: 2 St Michael’s (club one) 6:04.3 (87.57).  Four - Div One – A Final: 1 Commercial (sen) 6:16.1 (90.40), 2 NUIG (sen) 6:25.1 (88.28), 3 Commercial B (sen) 6:26.9 (87.89). Div Two (coxed) – A Final: 1 Queen’s A (club two) 6:50.5; 5 Shandon (jun 16). B Final: 1 Commercial (jun 18B) 7:06.6. 

Sculling,

Quadruple – Div Two, coxed – A Final: 1 Carlow (jun 18B) 6:52.4, 2 Shandon A (jun 16) 6:54.4, 3 Lee (club two) 6:56.5; 6 Queen’s (nov) 7:11.6.

Double – Div One – A Final: 1 Skibbereen, UCD (G O’Donovan, P O’Donovan; sen) 6:27.8 (92.83), 2 Skibbereen (M O’Donovan, S O’Driscoll; sen) 6:29.4 (92.64), 3 Skibbereen B (sen) 6:31.4 (91.98). B Final: 1 Shandon (inter) 6:42.3 (89.48); 3 Shandon A (jun 18A) 6:53.0 (88.03). C Final: 5 Carlow (club one) 7:01.4 (85.42).  

Single - Div Two – A Final: 1 Shandon (J Dorney; jun 16) 7:34.6, 2 Cork (C O’Sullivan; jun 18B) 7:41.1, 3 UCC (J Larkin; club two) 7:48.2.

Women

Eight – Div One – A Final: 1 Skibbereen/UCC (sen) 6:32.3 (89.97), 2 NUIG (inter) 6:36.6 (89.01), 3 Commercial (sen) 6:41.3 (87.96); 5 Cork BC (club one) 6:50.9 (85.92); 6 Col Iognaid (jun 18A) 7:10.4 (82.01).

Four – Div One – A Final: 1 UCD (sen) 7:07.1 (88.04), 2 Skibbereen A (sen) 7:13.4 (86.75), 3 Commercial A (sen) 7:17.4 (85.96); 5 Enniskillen (jun 18A) 7:18.9 (85.67). Div Two, coxed – A Final: 1 Skibbereen (club two) 7:34.3; 6 Col Iognaid (jun 16) 8:06.6. B Final: 2 Shandon (jun 18B) 8:31.0.

Sculling

Double – Div One – A Final: 1 Old Collegians, Cambridge (S Puspure, C Lambe; sen) 7:09.7 (92.40), 2 Lee, Skibbereen (sen) 7:26.6 (88.90) 3 Neptune (inter) 7:42.2 (85.9), 4 Workmans B (jun 18A) 7:42.5 (85.84). B Final: 3 St Michael’s (club one) 7:56.1 (83.39).

Single – Div Two – A Final: 1 Lee Valley (E O’Mahony; club two) 8:22.3, 2 Lee Valley (E Buckley; jun 18B) 8:28.6; 5 Neptune (N Clarke; jun 16) 8:46.1

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Trinity came out on top at the Irish University Rowing Championships at the National Rowing Centre in Cork today. The combined points tally of Dublin University Boat Club and Dublin University Ladies Boat Club was 68 points. UCD’s total was 51 and NUIG’s 43.

 The Wylie Cup, calculated on results in the men’s eights, went to UCD, who won the senior eight convincingly from Trinity. NUIG are the Bank of Ireland champions, though UCD won the senior eights.

 Stephen O’Connor of UCC beat Patrick Moreau of Trinity in the senior single sculls final, though Andrew Goff of UCD was faster in winning the intermediate title.

Irish University Championships, National Rowing Centre, Friday (Selected Results)

Overall: 1 Trinity (DUBC and DULBC) 68 points, 2 UCD 51, 3 NUIG 43. Wylie Cup (Senior Men, based on results in eights): UCD. Bank of Ireland Cup (Senior Women, eights): NUIG.

Men

Eight – Senior: 1 UCD 6:12.06, 2 Trinity 6:17.82, 3 NUIG 6:26.67. Club: NUIG 6:28.85. Intermediate: UCD 6:17.73. Novice: Queen’s 6:29.09.

Four – Sen: Trinity 7:12.30. Inter, coxed: Dublin IT 7:04.65. Club, coxed: NUIG 7:10.88.

Pair – Sen: Trinity 7:22.44.

Sculling, Quadruple – Nov, coxed: Queen’s A 7:37.40.  

Double – Inter: UCC 7:28.18.

Single – Sen: UCC (S O’Connor) 7:58.23. Inter: UCD (A Goff) 7:47.90.

Women

Eight – Senior: 1 UCD 7:06.78, 2 NUIG 7:14.70, 3 Trinity A 7:20.66. Inter: NUIG 7:11.87.

Club: NUIG 7:12.84. Novice: NUIG 7:26.53.

Four – Sen: UCD 7:36.88. Inter, coxed: UCC 8:13.49. Club, coxed: Queen’s 8:12.59.

Pair – Sen: UCD 8:20.97.

Sculling, Quadruple – Nov, coxed: Queen’s 9:08.74.

Double – Inter: Trinity 8:35.31.

Single – Inter: UUC (K Shirlow) 8:46.18.

Published in Rowing
Page 5 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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