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Displaying items by tag: Economy

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland is carrying out research via an open survey on the contribution of boating to the Irish economy.

The online survey is open to all boat owners on Ireland's inland waterways, and seeks information about their purchasing and maintenance expenditure, as well as the ongoing expense of using a craft on the inland waterways over the past year.

The survey is a repeat of the Economic Contribution of Private Boat Owners survey carried out in 2006, which is available to download at the Waterways Ireland website.

All boat owners are invited to visit the Open Surveys section of the website and complete the survey to have their say before 30 October 2014. The survey should take 10-12 minutes to complete.

The survey results will be available on the Waterways Ireland website as soon as the report is published.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it stands over the findings of a recent socio-economic study of recreational angling in Ireland, following what it described as "erroneous reports in certain elements of the media" suggesting that angling's contribution to the economy was overstated.

IFI says the principal results of the study, which was published in July 2013, estimate that recreational angling in Ireland contributes some €755 million to the Irish economy and supports more than 10,000 jobs in peripheral and rural areas.

"The results in this report are based on sound economic principles," said the fisheries body in a statement. "The report was compiled by industry experts Tourism Development International (TDI) who are a renowned and widely respected professional consultancy company."

The work team included Dr Stephen Hynes of the Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit of NUI Galway, while Prof Brendan Whelan, former director of the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), provided direction and assistance in the design of the survey and review of the report and findings.

"Regrettably it appears that inaccurate extrapolations from the study data prepared and published by a Scottish aquaculture blog has underpinned a complete misunderstanding and misrepresentation of the findings of the study, which was used by a lobby group in a recent communication to the media," IFI added.

The full study is available to download from the IFI website HERE.

Published in Angling
Tagged under

#Angling - Ireland's recreational angling sector generates more than half a billion euro annually, according to the Minister for Natural Resources.

As the Irish Examiner reports, Minister Pat Rabbitte revealed the significant figure in a written response to a Dáil question by Tommy Broughan TD, who requested a breakdown of the number of people participating in all forms of angling in the State.

The minister went on to confirm that the angling industry "sustainably supports more than 10,000 jobs... particularly in the West of Ireland".

Minister Rabbitte's announcement comes ahead of the pending publication of an Inland Fisheries Ireland study on Ireland's angling sector. Afloat.ie will have the latest on that when it appears.

Elsewhere in Ireland, the Belfast Telegraph reports that a man has been found guilty of a number of fisheries offences at Belfast Magistrates' Court.

Derek Ferguson of Larne was fined a total of £225 (€265) for unlicensed angling, unauthorised entry to fisheries and using unlawful angling methods.

Published in Angling

#Howth - "Disastrous" could be the effect for Howth's economy if car parking charges proposed by Government are introduced, as The Irish Times reports.

Tommy Broughan, Labour TD for Dublin North East, hit out at plans to charge for parking in the harbour area of the North Dublin fishing village, describing them as "crazy" and potentially devastating for Howth's marine and tourism industries.

He also criticised the failure of Marine Minister Simon Coveney and his department to consult with local stakeholders before pressing forward with the plans.

However, Minister of State Dinny McGinley argued that the vast majority of the 500 spaces available in Howth village were being used by park-and-ride commuters, and that only a small number of users involved in the fishing industry were effectively funding the service for all.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Dublin Bay

#COASTAL NOTES - Oil exploration company Petrel Resources has identified a number of new targets off the southwest coast of Ireland as it seeks bigger partners for its venture.

The Irish Times reports that the Dublin-based firm was awarded licensing options over 1,400 sq km of the Porcupine Basin or Porcupine Blight in the Atlantic Ocean, west of Dursey Island in Co Kerry.

It has since completed two phases of work in the area, and says technical studies of its blocks in the northern and eastern parts of the basin, where is is testing for the presence of reservoir sands, were "encouraging".

The announcement comes following the success of Providence Resources' prospect in the Celtic Sea off the south coast.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Barryroe field may deliver in excess of 2 billion barrels of oil, a flow expected to be worth billions of euro to the Irish economy in future years.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#MARINE RESOURCES - The Irish Times reports on ambitious plans to double the turnover generated by the ocean economy as announced by the Taoiseach yesterday.

The new 'ocean wealth roadmap' is specifically geared towards exploiting the potential for 'blue growth', which is also the focus of the EU Strategy for the Atlantic to be discussed at the first Altantic Forum in September.

Ireland currently generates 1.2& of its GDP from the marine sector, compared to 4.2% in the UK and as much as 20% in Norway.

The new plan, endorsed by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney, emphasises that the "real map of Ireland" emcompasses maritime territory 10 times bigger than the landmass, and will look to identify opportunities for growth in the areas of aquaculture, renewable energy, coastal tourism and marine biotechnology.

A list of 15 “actions” for implementation between now and 2014 includes the development of an enterprise strategy for key areas, such as offshore renewables, offshore services, as well as the introduction of a “robust planning and licensing framework”.

The Taoiseach said the Government was “determined that it will be a key component of our economic recovery and sustainable growth generating social, economic and cultural benefits for all”.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

#FISHING - Conservationists and the fishing industry have joined forces in a new venture to evaulate the state of the Isle of Man's scallop fishery, as the Guardian reports.

Both sides will co-manage the 35-square-mile Ramsey marine nature reserve in the Irish Sea, collecting data to show what progress the scallops have made since fishing in the area was banned in 2009.

It is hoped that the study will lead to a renewing of leases for scallop fishing, which is worth up to £12 million annually to the Isle of Man's economy - though industry leaders have doubts that the new arrangement will serve the island's fishermen.

Some 2.6% of Manx waters are protected, with more than 1% 'highly protected', which is in stark contrast to the rest of the United Kingdom after plans for a national network of conservation zones were shelved till at least next year.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Fishing

#COASTAL NOTES - Providence Resources has struck big off the south coast of Cork with an oil flow that could be worth billions of euro to the beleaguered Irish economy.

According to the Guardian, the Dublin-based company announced yesterday that oil had started to flow successfully from its Barryroe structure in the north Celtic Sea at nearly twice the rate previously projected.

Providence Resources CEO Tony O'Reilly Jr said the discovery was a "seminal day for Ireland, especially in the runup to St Patrick's Day."

Last month the firm had confirmed the presence of light oil with its first appraisal well at the site, a situation described by its technical director as "extremely encouraging".

Now that a steady flow has been achieved, future extraction from the oil field - comparable to a medium-to-large North Sea field - can surely proceed, which now puts pressure on the Government to grand permission for further exploration around the Irish coast.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, plans by Providence Rescources to prospect for oil on the east coast off Dalkey Island have been met with fierce opposition by mainland residents and environmental groups.

The Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#NEWS UPDATE - Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney has launched a public consultation process on harnessing the potential of Ireland's vast marine resources.

Our Ocean Wealth is calling for input into how Ireland can best capitalise on the trillion-euro global market for marine products and services, from seafood and tourism to shipping, oil and gas, renewable ocean energy and marine science.

Launching the consultation, Minister Coveney said: "We need to change the way we in Ireland think about the sea and look for new opportunities to harness the potential of our 220-million-acre marine resource.

"This government is determined to generate the momentum to drive forward a new era of sustainable economic development across the maritime sectors - we must avail of these opportunities to assist in our recovery. We want your help to shape our plan, to shape our future and to assist in our drive towards our nation's economic recovery."

The consultation process is a step towards developing an Integrated Marine Plan for Ireland intended to grow the percentage of GDP generated by the country's marine resource, which covers an area 10 times the size of Ireland's land mass.

The minister added: "We need an Integrated Marine Plan to harness our ocean wealth, get the environment right for investment and use the potential of our marine economy to create jobs in a sustainable manner."

The consultation phase will be open until 31 March with an aim to publish the Integrated Marine Plan during the summer. For more details visit www.ouroceanwealth.ie.

Published in News Update

#CORK WEEK - Pat Lyons of Royal Cork Yacht Club has spoken to website The Cork News about the city's hopes for the 2012 Cork Week regatta.

Crosshaven in Cork Harbour will host the club's biggest regatta - which takes place every two years - from 7-13 July this summer.

“Sailing in Ireland and Cork is in great shape,” says Lyons, who is expecting more than 250 boats to pack the harbour for racing and more.

The event is also perfectly timed just two weeks ahead of the 2012 Olympic Games in London, where Royal Cork Yacht Clubman Peter O’Leary will vie for gold with Dublin yachtsman David Burrows in their two-man keelboat.

Though the economic downturn has had a serious effect, costs have been cut across the board and some rules have been relaxed to allow for the widest possible level of participation.

“There are three factors that make Cork special," says Lyons. "Firstly, there is the number of boats and the various fleets. Secondly, there are 10 races planned. While that doesn’t always pan out due to the weather, we have pretty settled weather conditions and an excellent coastline in Cork, with hills running down to the sea.

"And finally, there is the harbour, which, if the weather impacts, provides excellent shelter. We’ve always been able to achieve a higher level of competition than a lot of other regattas, with at least one or two races per day.”

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, preparations for the event have already kicked off with the launch of a dedicated new website.

The Cork News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Week
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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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