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Displaying items by tag: Waterford

Waterford City and County Council has been criticised for its use of bleach to disinfect streams that enter the sea near two popular coastal bathing areas, as TheJournal.ie reports.

The council says it uses sodium hypochlorite to sanitise streams near beaches at Dunmore East and Tramore during the summer bathing season, citing the prevalence of children playing in the waters.

But the chemical compound is considered harmful to flora and fauna by various State agencies, with NGOs like Coastwatch Ireland also expressing their concern.

TheJournal.ie has much more on the story HERE.

As Afloat reported on August 16th, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it is investigating the “very concerning” claim

Published in Coastal Notes

Operating profits at the Port of Waterford for 2020 were €0.7 million, down from the €1.2 million recorded in 2019 during a period of trading set against the pandemic.

The Port's turnover was €7.2m for the year a reduction of 8% against 2019 and shareholder’s funds ended the year at €33m.

Bulk throughput in 2020 came in at 1.5 million tonnes, a 3% decrease on 2019, while the levels of container shipment handled grew by 2%.

The company said that for the first half of 2021, the business is showing very positive momentum despite the continued challenges posed by the pandemic in the ability to drive car park and cruise income.

Bulk handling (see photo) is currently ahead of 2020 by over 20% at this year’s halfway point and container handling is also holding up well and in-line with 2020 levels.

Further reading from RTE News.

Published in Irish Ports

A seal pup found entangled in fishing netting in Co Waterford yesterday (Wednesday 27 November) is now recovering, as Waterford Live reports.

Nicknamed Pine, the young seal is now in the care of Seal Rescue Ireland in Courtown, Co Wexford after it was rescued by Waterford SPCA from Portally Cove, south-west of Dunmore East.

Keep an eye on the Waterford SPCA Facebook page for more details on his progress.

Published in Marine Wildlife

Waterford welcomes the Naval Service’s newest offshore patrol vessel LÉ George Bernard Shaw for its official naming and commissioning ceremonies today, Tuesday 30 April.

Public viewing of the ceremonies will be from the William Vincent Wallace Plaza in the city centre.

LÉ George Bernard Shaw was delivered from the Babcock Marine Appledore shipyard in Devon to Cork Harbour last October.

It is the fourth and final ship of the P60 class commissioned over recent years, after LÉ William B Yeats, LÉ James Joyce and LÉ Samuel Beckett.

Published in Navy

#RNLI - Saturday 30 June has been confirmed as the date for the seventh annual WLRfm Waterford Viking Marathon to raise funds for the RNLI.

The most exciting running event in Waterford, the Viking Marathon following a spectacular route that takes in Waterford City’s Viking Triangle.

Runners will cross both Rice Bridge and the N25 suspension bridge and running along the Waterford Greenway before returning to the state-of-the-art WIT Arena at Carriganore.

Runners can also choose from the full, half or quarter marathon and help raise funds for the RNLI lifeboats, the nominated charity for this year’s event.

Register now on www.waterfordvikingmarathon.com.

The news comes after ‘Lap of the Map’ runner Mary Hickey joined the RNLI to launch its own annual Mayday fundraiser taking place next month, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#Rowing: One of the leading Irish boats at the World Masters Regatta in Bled in Slovenia clocked up a notable win today. The E eight made up of competitors from Belfast Boat Club, Commercial, Neptune and Waterford beat Dynamo of Russia, who have been their constant rivals of recent years. The margin was extremely tight – just .26 of a second.

World Masters Regatta, Bled, Slovenia, Day Four

Men

Eight ‘E’ (Avg 55 or more) – Heat Three: Waterford, Neptune, Commercial, Belfast BC (A Penkert, J Hudson, D Crowley, G Murphy, M Heavey, C Dickson, C Hunter, F O’Toole, D McGuinness) 3:07.88.

Published in Rowing

#Rowing: Irish composite crews had good wins on the first day of the World Masters Regatta in Bled in Slovenia. The Irish B eight (average age 36 or more), which is formed from six clubs won. Two fours in the E class (average age 55 or more) also won – the Galway/Neptune combination by just .26 of a second. The decision was initially given to their German opponents.

World Masters Regatta, Bled, Slovenia, Day One (Selected Results; Irish interest; all heats of 1,000 metres, winners only)

Men

Eight, B (avg 36 or more) – Heat Five: Galway, Commercial, Shandon, Clonmel, Neptune, Cork 3:05.51.

Four, E (avg 55 or more) – Heat One: Galway, Neptune 3:26.26.

Heat Four: Waterford, Neptune, Commercial, Belfast BC 3:28.1

Published in Rowing

#TallShips - Sail Training Ireland’s 2017 Waterford Bursary Scheme voyages came to a successful conclusion on Friday at a presentation ceremony held in the historic Mayor’s Parlour in Waterford city’s town hall.

Mayor of Waterford City & County Council Pat Nugent presented certificates to the 20 trainees who took part in two week-long sail training voyages.

The Waterford trainees sailed on board local ketch Brian Ború, skippered by owner Tony McLoughlin. After a six-day voyage they sailed into Waterford city to be met by friends, family, and supporters.

The voyage had some challenging sailing conditions that the newly formed crew faced down with growing confidence as they formed a tight knit team who overcame adversity, which is a key part of a good sail training programme.

The happy participants told tales of sightings of dolphins and even a whale, along with monkfish suppers, sing alongs and storytelling. They urged others to get involved in the opportunity of a lifetime.

A note received by Sail Training Ireland from Faye Kennedy who took part really illustrates the essence of the experience:

“Although I am an average 17-year-old teenager from Waterford city, I am different to most, as I have had to deal with a chronic illness. My illness does not define me; however, it does challenge me. Sail Training Ireland has pushed me to overcome the challenges of life at sea. It has also encouraged me to believe in my own potential. I take away a new-found love of sailing with memories of the best week of my life.”

The bursary was established in 2016 in partnership with Port of Waterford, Waterford City and County Council and Waterford Area Partnership, who have generously supported the scheme again this year.

The scheme provides access to the life-changing experience of a sail training voyage for young people from the Waterford region aboard large sailing vessels and tall ships.

A key objective of Sail Training Ireland is to raise financial support to ensure that no young person is excluded from participation due to financial constraints.

The development of Regional Bursary Schemes has proven to be a very successful approach to providing this support.

Daragh Sheridan, chief executive of Sail Training Ireland, also spoke of his “delight at seeing a group of strangers at the beginning of the week becoming great friends by the end of it.”

Sail Training Ireland hopes that with the continued support of the existing supporters and the addition of some new sponsors that the scheme will be expanded next year. Visit
www.sailtrainingireland.com for more information or contact the charity at 01 816 8866 or [email protected]

Published in Tall Ships

#MarineWildlife - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group reports on the stranding of three common dolphins in Dungarvan at the weekend.

Two of the three dolphins were still alive when found on Friday (13 January), though they were in “poor condition”, and one was later confirmed dead. The other was last seen in the area on Saturday and its current status is unconfirmed.

The news comes just days after two common dolphins were refloated after stranding in Tarbert, Co Kerry, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

It also follows a spate of marine wildlife deaths on the Waterford coast during the week, incidents that have been blamed on pair trawling activity.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#RNLI - Helvick Head RNLI rescued a man who got into difficulty in the water at Helvick Pier early this morning (Sunday 11 September).

The volunteer lifeboat crew was requested to launch their inshore lifeboat at 7.12am following a report of a potential tragedy at Helvick Pier on the Co Waterford headland.

On arriving at the car park, the crew observed a crashed car. The lifeboat took to the water immediately and within seconds shore helpers spotted a casualty in the water.

Once on scene with the casualty, crew members Shane Breathnach and Dónal Ó Faoláin entered the water to assist.

The casualty, who was struggling to stay afloat, was helped into the lifeboat where he was treated for hyperthermia by helm Shay Young and crew member Cathal Reilly.

The man was then returned to Helvick Lifeboat Station where he was cared for until the ambulance arrived and he was transferred to hospital.

"It was a close call this morning and we would like to commend local fishermen Barty Whelan and Richard Tobin who were active on the shore in raising the alarm, spotting the casualty and remaining on site," said Young following the callout.

"Once on scene, it took all four of us aboard the lifeboat to bring the man in and do what was necessary. We would like to wish the casualty a full recovery following his ordeal."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
Page 1 of 9

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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