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Ten Fireballs made it to the start line of the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites series yesterday (Sunday 5 December), with one boat stranded ashore seeking crew. The sunshine drew out a good entry from all fleets despite the chilly and blustery conditions.

Race one with an Olympic triangle-type course got away bang on time, almost catching out Frank Miller/Ed Butler who were upwind checking out conditions and shifts. The duo made it to the pin end just in time and tacked over from near the lefthand layline to find Alistair Court/Gordon Syme in the lead with Neil Colin/Margo Moonen not far behind.

Court/Syme led down the reaches and for the next beat but at the leeward rounding from the run Miller/Butler got lucky and found themselves lifted inside the leaders who had rounded a few boat lengths ahead.

The new leaders loose-covered Court/Syme for the rest of the race and held the lead to the finish. The results show that Colin/Moonen pipped Court/Syme on the finish line by a second to secure second place over the line.

For race two the west-northwesterly wind was less blustery and again Cormac Bradley and race team set the same course configuration after an interval to allow the three Laser fleets to finish.

Miller/Butler again opted for a pin-end start as it was marginally favoured and led to the windward with Court/Syme very close behind. The chasing pair had slightly better pointing upwind and slightly better speed downwind so the leaders had their work cut out to hold them off. Upwind the edges of the course seemed to hold the best pressure with the middle somewhat flat.

Due to the harbour configuration, the course was slightly skewed and the second reach of the triangle was almost a run. Court/Syme made best use of this to keep the leaders under pressure.

At one point it seemed that they had got inside the leaders to hold an inside berth to the leeward mark but Miller/Butler broke the overlap thanks to a separating gust and managed to gybe safely to secure the inside overlap to the mark. From there they covered the chasing boat in a mini tacking duel and held to the finish. Third Fireball across the line was Owen Sinnott with Grattan Donnelly who showed good speed in the lighter conditions.

Further back in the fleet special mention is deserved for helm Dave Coleman sailing with Michael Keegan, the former putting his new knee through its paces three months after surgery. When asked how it went, he replied that for the first few tacks that leg had forgotten what to do but it quickly relearned its role by race two. Another example of muscle memory, we guess!

In the overall PY standings the Aeros again dominated the top five results with Brendan Foley and Noel Butler taking PY honours. Covid willing, the series continues until Christmas and resumes after the New Year.

Results: Race 1, Race 2 and the series standings after seven races.

Published in DMYC
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The Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) says that after analysis of entries for its Viking Marine DMYC Frostbite Series which allowed competitors the option to enter Series 1 before Christmas, or Series 2 after Christmas, or the combined Series, it has established that there were approximately 20 entries for Series 1 only, consequently, the club has reopened the entry system on www.dmyc.ie for Series 2.

The entry was capped in October at 120 dinghies. However, many regular DMYC competitors who may have been caught out by the fleet size limit, found themselves excluded.

The reopening of entries offers them the chance to participate after Christmas, but potentially at the expense of sailors who entered Series 1 only.

DMYC Organiser Neil Colin joked to Afloat: "I wonder would Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council like to make the harbour bigger to enable us to accommodate more entries?"

 

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Seven Fireballs started amongst a good-sized PY turnout at the second Sunday of the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites series on Sunday.

Although the winds were light and often frustrating sailors were glad to get out at all in the face of forecasts offering little hope of wind. In the event race officer Cormac Bradley and his team set a windward - leeward course across the width of the harbour with southeasterly winds between three and six knots. Several Fireballs got away from the start cleanly and most headed left seeking better airs towards the harbour mouth.

Neil Colin/Marjo Moonen found themselves on the wrong side of the line at the gun and took a quick detour back around the ends. Louise McKenna sailing with Michael Keegan played the shifts and showed superior boat speed to lead the way around the windward mark closely followed by Alistair Court/Gordon Syme, Colin/ Moonen and Frank Miller sailing with Neil Cramer.

The offwind legs were especially tricky with some very light patches and those who kept their eyes out of the boat and found the better pressure was well rewarded. The leeward gate was especially challenging tucked in under the breakwater in an area of little wind.

On the second beat, Colin/Moonen banged the harbour mouth layline and came out ahead, a lead they preserved to the finish. Otherwise, the top bunch retained their order though Miller/Cramer closed the gap considerably on the final run and beat to the finish by picking the right-hand mark at the gate.

On handicap Jemima Owens with crew Henry Start sailing an RS 200 won the overall PY with a mixture of classes, including a Wayfarer and IDRA 14 filling out the top five positions.

With daylight and wind both fading the race team hoisted the very welcome N over A and the sailors headed home happy to get a race under their belts in such light airs.

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In his RS Aero, Brendan Foley made a clean sweep of the first PY races of the Viking Marine Frostbite Series 2021-22 at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Sunday afternoon. 

After a break in 2020, the country's longest-running winter dinghy racing resumed on Sunday, with sponsorship from Viking Marine and a sell-out 110-boat fleet.

The Royal St. George solo sailor took wins in both races that were dominated by the Aero class. 

In the first race, another boat type broke into the top three in the 21-boat PY division when Frank Miller in a Fireball took a second.

RStGYC Lasers on form

In the Laser divisions, Royal St George's domination was evident with their sailors taking all the podium positions (except two) in both races in all three divisions.

Both counting a one and a two, DMYC/HYC's Luke Turvey and RStGYC's Brendan Hughes share the top points in the Radial's 21-boat turnout, the most significant Laser division.

The George's Gavan Murphy won the first race of the six-boat full rigs, and clubmate Chris Arrowsmith won the second. 

Royal St. George's Daniel O'Connor took the gun in Race One in the ten boat 4.7 class and Sam Legge, also of the RStGYC, second.

Due to Covid restrictions, there was no prizegiving in the DMYC after sailing,

Results are here.

Additional report from Cormac Bradley, Frostbite Race Officer below

Viking Marine Frostbites 2021/22: Race Day One

After an enforced break due to Covid regulations in 2020/2021, the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club-hosted Frostbites returned to the waters of Dun Laoghaire Harbour with a new sponsor in the form of local chandler, Viking Marine, also based in Dun Laoghaire.

The organisers of the event decided that an entry cap of 120 boats would be put in place so that an awareness of the ongoing Covid situation could be signalled to all potential competitors and that number was reached in advance of the first weekend of racing.

The breakdown of numbers gave us a potential 38-boat entry in the PY Class consisting of Fireballs, Aeros, GP14s, RS400, IDRA and a variety of Lasers – Vago, etc. Laser Radials mustered a 40-boat entry and there were healthy numbers for the Laser 4.7s and Full Rigs.

In the build-up to the first weekend of racing, November 7th, the wind forecast started off as being quite heavy with even heavier gusts, but as we got to the tail-end of the week, a more genteel forecast was evolving. Sunday morning arrived with a forecast that put the wind in the mid-teens with gusts in the low to middle twenties (knots). However, with the wind projected to come out of the West, that would mean a slightly protected harbour and race-course area.

Onshore discussion between Frostbites Director, Neil Colin and Race Officer, Cormac Bradley, in advance of going on the water, resolved that with the forecast and the fact that we had done no Frostbiting for over a year, it would be prudent to run with Windward-Leeward races for the first day of the new series and that would give everyone a chance to re-acquaint themselves with the Frostbites regime.

Mother Nature played her part as well by giving us as close to a steady breeze as she permits which allowed a weather mark to be set just north of the entrance to the marina and that stayed in place for both races. With a Westerly (270°), we are able to use the biggest dimension of the harbour, and a leeward gate was set up using the hand-buoys of summer moorings to fix the marks inside the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier.

A PY Fleet of 20 boats opened the proceedings of the 2021/22 Series with the make up being 6 Fireballs, 6 Aeros (7s and 5s), 2 GP14s, an RS400, an IDRA, a Mirror and an assortment of double-handed Lasers.

The Full Lasers and 4.7s, sailing as one fleet, mustered nineteen-boats, eight full rigs and eleven of the smaller rigs, respectively.

The Laser Radials won the attendance prize with 23 boats on the water.

With a 62-boat fleet to watch and a good breeze to get all the boats around the course, this correspondence is unable to give an account of the racing. Suffice to say that there was no definitive way to sail the beats, which is what a Race Officer wants, but there was some close on the water sailing witnessed across all three fleets.

In the early part of the first series of races, the breeze got up to about 15/16 knots, but it was evident that the base breeze was falling though there were enough gusts coming through to see windward rolls from the Lasers and a few flogging spinnakers from the Fireballs.

By the second race, the wind had dropped to around the 10-knot mark and faded a little more as the afternoon wore on. However, there was enough around for everyone to have enjoyed this "first day back at the office".

Viking Marine Frostbites – hosted by DMYC

Race 1.

PY Class:
1st Brendan Foley (Aero 7),
2nd Frank Miller and Ed Butler (FB 14713),
3rd Stephen Oram (Aero 7).
4th Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (FB 14706).
5th Owen Sinnott & Grattan Donnelly (FB 14865).
1st GP 14 – David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (7th).
IDRA – Pierre Long & Son (9th).
RS400 – Brian O'Hare & Lucy O'Donoghue (14th).

Full Rig Lasers:
1st Gavan Murphy.
2nd Conrad Vandlik.
3rd Gary O'Hare.

Laser 4.7s:
1st Daniel O'Connor.
2nd Sam Legge.
3rd Donal Walsh.

Laser 4.7s:
1st Brendan Hughes.
2nd Luke Tierney.
3rd Mark Henry.

Race 2.
PY Class:
1st Brendan Foley.
2nd Mark Gavin.
3rd Sarah Dwyer (Aero 5).
4th Neil Colin and Marjo (FB 14775).
5th Tom Murphy (K1).
1st GP 14 – David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne.
Mirror – Paul & Yves Long (19th).

Full Rig Lasers:
1st Chris Arrowsmith.
2nd Conrad Vandlik.
3rd Gary O'Hare.

Laser 4.7s:
1st Sam Legge.
2nd Emily Cantwell.
3rd Daniel O'Connor.

Laser Radials:
1st Luke Tierney.
2nd Brendan Hughes.
3rd Sophie Kilmartin.

In terms of club affiliation, five of the six-race finishes were taken by Royal St George Yacht Club members, with Luke Tierney the only race winner from the host club (DMYC).

In compliance with Covid best practice, there was no daily prize-giving and the proposal is that there may only be a single prize-giving event

Each Sunday's race results will be posted to the DMYC website after racing rather than being posted immediately inside the DMYC clubhouse. This is a Covid prompted safety measure. at the end of each series, subject to the regulations in place at that time.

Published in DMYC
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Taking a glance at the list of entries table published on the DMYC website, the Race Officer is going to have his hands full with the Laser Radial /ILCA 6 fleet when racing starts this weekend in the Viking Marine Frostbite Challenge in Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

With entries currently at 110, DMYC intends to enforce the 120 limit cap on entries, at least for Series 1.

It follows on from a buoyant early entry as Afloat reported here

There are 38 Radials, 20 4.7s and 14 full rigs entered as the Laser again proves its enduring appeal during the pandemic at least. 

"We will see how the participation level compares to the entries. We expect there will be some disappointed regular winter dinghy sailors, but “you snooze and you lose”, organiser Neil Colin told Afloat.

In other big turnouts, the Fireballs who host the World Championships on Lough Derg next summer have 14 boats entered and the new RS Aero class has eight.

Published in DMYC
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Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) has published details of the 2021 edition of its annual Kish Race on Dublin Bay next weekend.

The popular round Kish and back race will take place on Sunday, 19th September with the first gun at 10.55 a.m.

This year the Kish Race is part of the Cruiser 3 National Championships.

As regular Afloat readers will recall, last year the annual fixture had assembled a sizeable fleet including yachts from nearby Greystones Harbour in County Wicklow before having to cancel due to COVID.

Starting in the vicinity of Dun Laoghaire Harbour and racing to the Kish lighthouse and back, it is a distance of approximately 28 km.

Overall prizes will be awarded for the best performance (using an approximate TCF for Classic vessels and one-design boats).

Race organiser Ben Mulligan says that 'as this is the “last major” in the Dublin Bay summer season before the lift out or winter racing, the club is looking forward to an enthusiastic entry'.

Handicapping will be based on ECHO Standard, giving those with revised ECHOs a good chance at the prizes.

Overall prizes will be awarded for the best performance. (The Kish Race Trophy).

Published in DMYC
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Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella are the new Fireball National Championships after eight races in Dublin Bay over the weekend. Second-placed at the event, hosted by the DMYC, were Noel Butler and Stephen Oram while the Thompson brothers Daniel and Harry took third. The event was compressed into two days of racing when Friday was lost to zero breeze.

Saturday proved the best day in terms of wind with a solid North-Easterly providing decent pressure and full trapezing conditions. Principal race officer Suzanne McGarry and her team did a brilliant job in getting four solid races under the belt by mid-afternoon when the sea breeze showed signs of weakening. Two windward-leeward courses were followed by two Olympic Triangular courses with exemplary turnarounds.

McCartin/Kinsella dominated the 13 boat fleet on Saturday though they didn't have things entirely their own way with the Thompsons posting a win in race two. The pair showed great coordination and teamwork around the race track. While they squeezed the optimum VMG out of the boat upwind they were exceptionally fast offwind, especially on the triangular courses.

On the Sunday morning a different set of conditions greeted sailors who initially roasted ashore in high temperatures but zero breeze. After a postponement of an hour, however, the sea-breeze started to fill and racing got underway in lightish but very sailable conditions. Again race officer Suzanne McGarry started with windward-leeward courses and followed up with two Olympic Triangles. McCartin/Kinsella again led the fleet for the first two bullets but the third race was led by Butler/Oram while the series leaders headed ashore to fulfil a work commitment.

Noel Butler and Stephen Oram were secondNoel Butler (right) and Stephen Oram were second

Daniel and Harry Thompson who were third overallDaniel and Harry Thompson who were third overall

Race 8 took place without the event leaders and Butler/Oram posted another win. However, McCartin/Kinsella had done enough with five races wins and a second to discard the last two races and still win the overall by a margin of 5 points. Further back in the fleet there was great close racing all the way through. Lizzy McDowell sailing with her cousin Chara in a borrowed boat were right on the pace and came in into their own on day two. They were unfortunate to be U-flagged in the final race but they were in good company as the Thompsons and Louise McKenna/ McKenna/Hermine O'Keeffe suffered the same fate. Frank Miller/Ed Butler had a better first day than second but managed to hold onto 4th overall.

The McDowell cousins placed 5th and took the silver prize while second silver was Colm Breen with his son Cormac and third were Dave Coleman sailing with Aidan Caulfield.

Colm Breen and son Cormac (2nd silver)Colm Breen and son Cormac (2nd silver)

Aidan Caulfield (3rd silver) (left) with DMYC Commodore Dermot ReidyAidan Caulfield (3rd silver) (left) with DMYC Commodore Dermot Reidy

There were notable new faces at the event with youngsters Daniel Hrymac crew Harvey, young Robin Nash sailing with her father Glen and veteran Ciaran Hickey returning to the fray. All in all a great event in semi-tropical conditions and all credit to the race team who managed to squeeze 8 races in to complete the series.

Next up for the Fireballers is the Ulsters in Newtownards on August 21/22 and on September 18/19 the fleet head to Dromineer to sample the conditions at Lough Derg YC, the venue of the Fireball World Championships next year.

Published in Fireball
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John Masterson's Curraglas of the National Yacht Club is 2021 Shipman Irish National Championship winner after a four-race series at Dun Laoghaire Harbour this weekend.

RStGYC's Viking (Fergus Mason and Colm Duggan) was second overall. Third was clubmate Alain Deladiennee's in Poppy. 

Masterson won by a one-point margin in the eight boat fleet after four races sailed at the DMYC hosted championships. 

Results are here

Published in DMYC
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A DMYC Committee meeting held this weekend has decided to abandon plans for its inaugural Christmas Dinghy Challenge at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

As Afloat previously reported, the event was scheduled in anticipation of the lifting of Level 3 restrictions this weekend but the club's Neil Colin told Afloat, "A change in direction of the tide (Pandemic Numbers, coupled with the NPHET commentary, and anticipated relaxation that has not occurred) have led us to abandon the Christmas Challenge"

The DMYC is celebrating 50 years of winter sailing organisation this year.

The club has removed its online registration system and any entry fees will be refunded, according to Colin.

"These are sad times but we look forward to fair winds in 2021, and want to ensure everyone remains as safe as possible", he added

Published in DMYC

The Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) has its “Christmas Cracker” dinghy series, in anticipation of the amended Level 3 Restrictions due to take effect on 18th December, to give all East Coast dinghy sailors a chance to “pull in their sheets and wear rubber” over the festive season, in anticipation that many sailors will be staying local.

The DMYC is celebrating 50 years of winter sailing organisation this year.

The event will take place on Sundays 20th, 27th and New Year’s Day 1st January, commencing @ 12.00 in the main harbour.

The event is intended for double-handed and solo sailors, with a PY handicap of 1400 or lower.

A Notice of Event and registration system is now live here. Download an event poster below.

The event will be capped at the first 100 entrants. The DMYC's Neil Colin says, "If we cannot go sailing due to the pandemic, the nominal entrance charge will be refunded". 

This is an open event, visitors on the days are welcome to use the harbour’s public slipways as well as the regular waterfront slipways, to minimise congregation and maintain safe distancing.

There will be no social “after sail” gatherings, and club changing rooms are expected to be closed. Consequently, a “sail and dash” approach is needed, and even this season’s fashion accessory, the 'Dry Robe' will come in handy.

Published in DMYC
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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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