Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: tourism

#StarWars - Tourism Ireland is hoping the success of the new Star Wars movie will attract fans in their droves to Skellig Michael and the Kerry coast, as TheJournal.ie reports.

And the tourism marketing board has launched a new video extolling the virtues of the UNESCO world heritage site, which will play a big role in Episode VIII of the Star Wars saga due in cinemas in May next year.

But not everyone will be happy with the growing interest in the vulnerable island habitat for many protected marine species, coming just weeks after Birdwatch Ireland said the most recent film shoot on the island was "not compliant" with the EU habitats directive.

Published in Island News

#Tourism - Ireland is lagging behind our Scottish neighbours when it comes to strategy for growing marine tourism.

That's according to Dun Laoghaire Marina, which today (Friday 20 November) tweeted on the impending announcement in Edinburgh of a five-year action plan to grow Scotland's marine tourism industry by £90 million (€128.7 million).

Connected with that are moves to boost sailing tourism by nearly 50% of its current £100 million value to the Scottish economy, as STV News reports.

"Providing authentic experiences, improving the customer journey and building industry capabilities" are the three themes identified in the Scottish plan to develop both infrastructure and facilities for coastal and waterway attractions, and events and initiatives highlighting the same.

While local strategies are being devised in Ireland, such as Galway City Council's recent six-year tourism blueprint to take advantage of the successful Wild Atlantic Way initiative, Dun Laoghaire Marina laments that there is nothing in this country comparable to Scotland's national plan, nor the Scottish Parliament's Cross-Party Group on Recreational Boating and Marine Tourism.

That's despite the focus on the marine sector and the 'blue economy' championed at this summer's second Ocean Wealth Conference.

What do you think? Does Ireland need a clearer roadmap towards making the most of our marine resources for tourism? Let us know in the comments below

Published in Aquatic Tourism
Tagged under

#Tourism - Galway's status as the only city on the Wild Atlantic Way is at the centre of a new six-year tourism blueprint for the City of the Tribes.

As the Connacht Tribune reports, the Tourism Sustainability Strategy 2015-2021 – developed from search commissioned by Galway City and County Councils – recommends that a 'master brand' be created to capitalise on the city's unique position in the West of Ireland.

Plans include developing and marketing Galway as a transport and accommodation hub for the Wild Atlantic Way, as well as creating new spin-off cultural and heritage trails, and extending the tourist season with the likes of new city-based festivals.

The Connect Tribune has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#WildAtlanticWay - Popular travel YouTube duo the Vagabrothers have been posting clips from their current trip along Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way - including a "super relaxing" kayaking adventure off West Cork.

As TheCork.ie reports, Californian brothers and self-professed vagabonds Marko and Alex Ayling paddled in the company of Atlantic Sea Kayaking's Jim and Maria Kennedy as part of their extensive tour of the country at the invitation of Tourism Ireland.

Once back on shore, the Aylings were treated to a surprising seaweed lunch at the Union Hall café run by the Kennedy's own daughter.

The video above is just one of a series that's taken the brothers surfing in Strandhill, cliff-jumping in the Aran Islands and tucking into an oyster feast in Co Galway.

And it comes as Lonely Planet recommends the Wild Atlantic Way as the world's best offbeat coastal road trip, according to Galway Bay FM.

The whole of the Vagabrothers' Irish adventure so far can be found on YouTube HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

#GalwayBay - A new mackerel-themed maritime festival has been proposed for Galway Bay this autumn – as the latest industry figures show tourism in the region is heavily concentrated in the summer months.

The Connacht Tribune reports on the 'Mackerel Festival' idea suggested at a Galway Chamber meeting last week as a way to rejuvenate Salthill.

Along the lines of the recent Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, the event would liven up the seaside suburb's renowned Promenade with a celebration of its local mackerel catch, which brings in big numbers each September.

The event was one of a number of ideas, including reopening Salthill's tourist office, put forward at the meeting last Tuesday (21 April) that agreed to form a committee to advance the most promising plans.

And the news comes as the latest figures from Fáilte Ireland show that a third of all visitors to Galway in 2014 were 'shoehorned' into the two high summer months.

According to the Connacht Tribune, a combined total of 33% of Galway visitors arrived in July and August last year.

June and September are the next busiest months with 24% of all visits between them, as opposed to just 3% in January – underlining the highly seasonal nature of the region's tourism industry.

The figures were released as part of a public consultation on the Wild Atlantic Way and the initiative's effects on the coastal environment.

Published in Galway Harbour

#CorkHarbour - Five years after Spike Island was first opened as a tourist attraction, plans are in the making for a new interpretive centre on the site that could be ready by next summer.

As the Irish Examiner reports, the €2.5 million Fáilte Ireland-funded project for the former prison island in Cork Harbour could see ground broken as soon as September ahead of ribbon cutting in time for the 2016 summer tourism season.

According to county engineer David Keane, Block B of the old prison building will be refurbished for the visitor centre, which will house an exhibition on the history of the island as well as military memorabilia.

It's hoped that the plans will attract up to 300,000 visitors to Cork Harbour annually, and create some 190 jobs.

The Irish Examiner has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

#Tourism - Coastal attractions made up the bulk of the winners at Wednesday night's Irish Responsible Tourism Awards, as Business & Leadership reports.

And Jim Kennedy's Atlantic Sea Kayaking – which took the gold medal for Best Adventure Activity Provider for Responsible Tourism – also took the overall award at the inaugural ceremony hosted at Dublin's Radisson Blu Royal Hotel.

Elsewhere, golds went to the Co Clare's Loop Head Peninsula in Co Clare (for Best Destination for Responsible Tourism) and Dolphin Watch (for Best in a Marine or Coastal Environment).

Completing the trifecta for the Banner County, the Hotel Doolin won gold in the Best Small Hotel or Accommodation for Responsible Tourism category.

Meanwhile, Connemara Wild Escapes - which promotes various activities from walking to angling – was named Best Tour Operator for Responsible Tourism.

Business & Leadership has more on the story HERE.

Published in Aquatic Tourism
Tagged under

#IslandNews - A glass-floored viewing platform jutting out over the Atlantic Ocean on Achill Island has got officials excited about its potential to attract tourism.

But locals are concerned that the project could mar the area's special views with an eyesore.

As the Mayo News reported last month, funding has been secured to develop the so-called 'Signature Discovery Point' at Keem Beach on Ireland's largest coastal island.

Keem Beach is one of 35 locations along the Wild Atlantic Way in Co Mayo that will share in the €257 million funding pot.

And the ambitious plans for the area – that also features as part of the new Galway-Mayo Blueway – include a viewing platform over the waves and rocky shore near the old coastguard station, along the lines of the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

But the reaction among the Achill community has been mixed, with support for the initiative by development company Comhlacht Forbartha Áitiúil Acla tempered by comments from local sculptor Ronan Halpin, who expressed concerns over the "visual intrusion" and "sustainability" of such a unique engineering project.

“Keem Bay is one the most beautiful and unspoilt places in our country. Its isolation and seclusion are a major part of its inherent charm," he added. "The proposal to build a glass walkway at the top of Moiteóg would seem to fly in the face of all this natural beauty and majesty."

The Mayo News has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Island News

#CoastalNotes - Coastal spots and waterways feature heavily in HeraldScotland's list of the most picturesque destinations to visit in Ireland.

Some of these will be well known to locals and tourists alike, such as the wonders of Antrim's coast and glens (not least the Giant's Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge), the majestic Ring of Kerry and the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher.

But some perhaps lesser-known spots getting their due here include the Cavan lake country – with one to explore by kayak for every day of the year – and the Cooley Peninsula in Co Louth.

HeraldScotland has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#aquatictourism – The British Marine Federation is launching a Marine Tourism Strategy in March at the Scottish Tourism Week National Conference. Over 500 decision makers and key players in the tourism industry will be attending the event.

By 2020, the BMF say they want Scotland to be: "A marine tourism destination of first choice for high quality, value for money and memorable customer experience delivered by skilled and passionate people."

The Marine Tourism Strategy is an initiative led by a working group of industry leaders and user groups together with public agencies and enterprise bodies to focus on the sustainable growth of Scotland's marine leisure sector. 'With your help we can build the economic benefits of marine tourism for Scotland as a whole, and for all of our individual businesses, teams, employees and families' says BMF. 

Scotland's marine environment is one of its crown jewels and encompasses some of the world's most beautiful and varied boating waters. Whether visitors seek adventure, wildlife, family boating experiences, day or extended visits, coastal, offshore or inland waters, Scotland's marine offer is complete, varied and of the highest standard.

 

Published in Aquatic Tourism
Page 4 of 16

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating