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Next Saturday 5 October sees the Irish National Sailing & Powerboat School in Dun Laoghaire host an outboard engine course designed and presented by Brian Hughes.

With 48 years of experience in the industry — most notably and recently with Dalkey outboard engine specialists Killen Marine — Hughes will bring his wealth of knowledge and know-how to the day-long course at the INSS’s West Pier base.

Hughes says: “I feel quite strongly that a lot of boat owners really have very little knowledge about quite simple and basic aspects of their outboard (and to a certain extent inboards) so hopefully this is something I can help rectify … and keep me out of mischief while retired!”

The course fee is €89 and bookings can be made at 01 284 4195. For more visit INSS.ie

Published in INSS

#ROWING: The new Lough Rinn rowing and canoeing facility in County Leitrim will be officially opened tomorrow (Friday). The development is backed by Leitrim Tourism and Leitrim County Council. The opening will be attended by  Michael Ring TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with Special Responsibility for Tourism and Sport.

The facility has a 2,000 metre, eight-lane rowing course. It is within easy reach of Dublin, Belfast and Galway and has already attracted the attention of many of the clubs in Ireland, and in particular in Northern Ireland, where there is no facility of this nature.

Published in Rowing
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#RowingCourse: Deane Public Works from Fermanagh will be awarded the main construction contract for the new rowing course at Lough Rynn in County Leitrim. The specialist work of design, supply and installation of the lanes will sub-contracted to Polaritas, a company from Budapest in Hungary. According to Leitrim County Council, the company have worked on the rowing courses for the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and will work on the installation of the rowing course for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

The design/build contract for Lough Rynn involves the design, supply and installation of an eight-lane Albano Rowing Course to meet FISA (Fédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Aviron) Standards. The course will also be adjustable to meet canoe sprint competition rules of the International Canoe Federation.

The course may be finished by the end of this year.

Published in Rowing

#HowthYC - Howth Yacht Club will soon be hosting an ISA-sanctioned powerboating course for beginner youths in mid-May ahead of a certification course at the end of the month.

The 'introduction to powerboat' course runs on the weekend of 18-19 May and is open to all club members aged between 14 and 20.

Members who complete this course would be at an advantage going on to the national powerboat qualification course on the weekend of 25-26 May, which is open for club members aged 16 to 20.

Both courses commence at 9.30am each day.

Application forms are available from the Howth Yacht Club website and must be returned by Thursday 16 May.

Published in Howth YC

County Leitrim has received a welcome boost with the announcement that a recent round of Government funding will enable the development of an international standard rowing facility on Lough Rinn, near Mohill in the south of the county.

 

The funding which was provided by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport as part of an overall €6 million investment across four projects will enable Leitrim County Council in conjunction with Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club develop a 2,000 metre, six lane facility which will be capable of hosting national and international events as well as acting as a training base for international teams in advance of major competitions.

 

The development of the facility on Lough Rinn is already underway through Leitrim County Council and the facility will become available by April of next year. Once completed the Rowing Facility will be run under the supervision of the Carrick on Shannon Rowing club which is the oldest rowing club in Ireland its foundation dating back to 1836.

 

Commenting on the potential of the new rowing facility, Sinead McDermott, Leitrim Tourism said, “Today’s announcement really is a milestone for Leitrim, the development of this facility will not only raise the profile of Leitrim in a sporting sense but will also have a considerable impact on the local economy and tourism industry. By its very location, this new facility will be extremely accessible for rowing clubs and teams from Northern Ireland, Dublin and the UK.”

 

Anthony Dooley, President of Rowing Ireland echoed this view saying, ''Rowing Ireland believe that the development of Lough Rinn will be a major boost to the development of rowing in the region and will attract rowing people across all age groups and classes both within Ireland and from abroad, having a multi-lane course in such a beautiful and picturesque location will be major draw.”

 

Lough Rinn, a 162 hectares lake which is 3,000 meters in length is ideally suited as a rowing facility and the development project will see the creation of a six lane facility through the placement of pontoons alongside retractable rowing equipment. There will also be a number of spectator points developed with a walkway planned around the entire lake over the next number of years.

 

Outlining the impact the rowing facility will have on the sport, Tony Keane, President of Carrick on Shannon Rowing Club said, “We are thrilled with the awarding of the funding and with the development of the rowing facility. We already have strong links with Clubs across Ireland, Northern Ireland and England and would hope that this facility would enable us to host landmark rowing competitions which would not only increase interest in the sport but also provide a welcome boost to Leitrim.”

 

Rowers and spectators who visit Leitrim in the future will be well catered for with the four star Lough Rynn Castle Hotel on the shore of the Lake itself and the vibrant town of Carrick on Shannon less then fifteen minutes drive.

Published in Rowing
Tagged under
The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is running a new series of its popular whale watching courses on Cape Clear in Co Cork this summer.
The first weekend course from 8-10 July 2011 caters for adults keen to learn more about whales and dolphins in Irish waters and how to observe, record and identify them. It will feature a mixture of workshops and field trips, including cliff and boat-based whale watches.
Admission for this course is €70 for IWDG members (€90 for non-members). Please note that this fee does not cover transport to Cape Clear, food or accomodation, or any boat trips. As the itinerary will be weather-dependant, some flexibility will be required.
Places are also limited to 20 per course on a first-come-first-served basis. Booking requires a non-refundable deposits of €25 to be paid by cheque or postal order to the IWDG.
For bookings and enquiries contact IWDG sighting co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley at [email protected] or 023 883 8761.

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) is running a new series of its popular whale watching courses on Cape Clear in Co Cork this summer.

The first weekend course from 8-10 July 2011 caters for adults keen to learn more about whales and dolphins in Irish waters and how to observe, record and identify them. It will feature a mixture of workshops and field trips, including cliff and boat-based whale watches. 

Admission for this course is €70 for IWDG members (€90 for non-members). Please note that this fee does not cover transport to Cape Clear, food or accomodation, or any boat trips. As the itinerary will be weather-dependant, some flexibility will be required.

Places are also limited to 20 per course on a first-come-first-served basis. Booking requires a non-refundable deposits of €25 to be paid by cheque or postal order to the IWDG.

For bookings and enquiries contact IWDG sighting co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley at [email protected] or 023 883 8761.

Published in Marine Wildlife

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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