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Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: video

#Coastguard - The Howth unit of the the Irish Coast Guard responded this weekend to a vessel that lost power at the mouth of the River Boyne.

Howth's coastguard crew were undertaking helm training with a passage to the Drogheda unit to support the Drogheda Marina launch when they were notified that a ski-boat planning to join the flotilla had lost power on the Drogheda Bar.

The vessel, with four people aboard, was taken under tow - while a mother and child on a second vessel suffering from serious sea-sickness were also transferred to the coastguard boat.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Drogheda Port Company undertook dredging works in January this year on the entrance to the port on the River Boyle, following earlier works in 2010 to remove sand accumulating at Drogheda Bar.

Published in Coastguard

#Windsurfing - History has been made in Hawaii with the first Irish woman ever to have windsurfed the infamous 'Jaws' surfing break, as The Irish Times reports.

Twenty-six-year-old Katie McAnena, a doctor from Galway, demonstrated perfect timing as she leapt into the water from an overhanging cliff.

An experienced windsurfer with four Irish women's championships to her name, McAnena told the paper how she maintained caution on the wave and stayed on its shoulder to ride it out.

“The sound and the feeling of it going through my bones was extraordinary, an out-of- body experience,” she said. “I haven’t managed to sleep since.” The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

It's been an exciting time lately for Ireland's women waverers, as just six months ago northwest surfing scion Easkey Britton became the first woman ever to surf in the waters off Iran.

Published in Surfing

#Surfing - Ireland's first ever surfing themed film festival has been hailed as a "roaring success" all round, according to surf website Magicseaweed.

The Shore Shots Irish Surf Film Festival - which took over the Light House Cinema and the Generator Hostel in Dublin's Smithfield last weekend, as previously reported on Afloat.ie - featured the Irish premieres of five new big-screen surfing films, including the 3D epic Storm Chasers.

But it was the Short Film section attracted the most excitement and plaudits over the two days, with an edit of Fergal 'Ferg' Smith - tackling the biggest and best waves Ireland has to offer over two years - claiming top prize in the category.

Others of note in the shortlist include bodyboarder Peter Clyne and some truly exciting POV footage from Dylan Scott - shot with a single GoPro and put together on the smallest of budgets.

North Of Nowhere from Peter Clyne - Outer Cells on Vimeo.

trendynewatrocity2 - By Dylan Stott from MSW on Vimeo.

Magicseaweed has much more on happenings from the festival HERE.

Published in Surfing

#Windsurfing - Mission 2 of the Red Bull Storm Chase to Galicia has been abandoned at the last minute due to an unstable weather forecast for the coast of northern Spain.

It's a big blow to the six waveriders who qualified for the second-stage of the global windsurfing challenge after three rounds of exciting competition in Brandon Bay less than two months ago.

The storm-force winds that swept the Kerry coast at the end of January provided the perfect conditions to test the mettle of the brave sailboarders who took to the water at the 'Dumps' ad 'Hell's Gate'.

Of the ten-strong field, six survived to advance to the second round - Marcilio Browne, Dany Bruch, Victor Fernandez, Robby Swift, Julien Taboulet and Thomas Traversa.

And Red Bull have posted a video compilation of highlights of all the action from Mission 1 in Kerry, which you can see below:

Published in Surfing

#VOR - The Chinese port of Sanya is the latest addition to the route for the next Volvo Ocean Race.

The sunny city in southern China - and the "best kept secret in sailing" according to Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad - returns to the race with previously announced addition Lisbon after its debut hosting in the 2011-2012 edition,

"We were given an exceptional welcome by Sanya in the last edition, with the stopover providing a unique take on the race, and it's gratifying to know we will be back to build on our legacy," said Frostad.

Sanya also fielded a team backed by Discover Ireland in the last edition of the global yachting challenge - though they dealt with some misfortune only hours into the first leg of the race, suffering very serious hull damage as seen HERE.

Meanwhile, progress on the new design VOR 65 that will be raced in the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race made a great leap forward this week as the hull completed at Persico in Italy and the decking built at Multiplast in France made their way to Green Marine in Southampton for assembly.

The video above also includes a sneak peak at a mockup of the completed design that will hopefully take to the water in the coming months.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

#RNLI - The volunteer lifeboat crew at Kilmore Quay RNLI in Co Wexford responded to an 11-hour callout yesterday morning (Sunday 10 March) involving a 23-metre fishing vessel that had got into difficulty 40 miles south of the harbour. See video of the operation below.

With a biting easterly wind, the lifeboat crew made their way just after 8am to the vessel, which had suffered machinery failure, and arrived on scene at 10.40am. 

Establishing a tow between the lifeboat and the fishing vessel with five crew onboard, the two vessels made slow progress back to shore in worsening conditions.



Commenting on the long callout, Kilmore Quay RNLI volunteer lifeboat crew member Aidan Bates said: “It was a bad day for a callout yesterday but the fishing vessel needed our assistance and the weather was worsening by the hour. By the time we were returning with the boat under tow the winds were blowing gale force seven to eight and it was choppy enough.

"Thankfully everyone was safe and the lifeboat crew were able to return home after a long day at sea.”

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

#VOR - Lisbon will again feature in the Volvo Ocean Race route after striking a two-race deal with organisers.

The Portuguese capital - which made its VOR debut in last year's edition of the race, hosting the start of the penultimate leg - will again welcome the VOR fleet in 2015 after the North Atlantic crossing leg from Newport in Rhode Island, and will repeat the celebrations in 2018.

"What Lisbon achieved in the last race was remarkable when you think that the city was making its debut," said VOR COO Tom Touber.

Lisbon is the eighth host port to be announced for the 12th edition of the round-the-world yacht challenge, following the return of Abu Dhabi to the calendar a few weeks ago.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

#VOR - Abu Dhabi will return to the Volvo Ocean Race in 2014-15 both with a sailing team and a stopover in the UAE capital, it was announced earlier this week.

Once again skippered by Ian Walker, the team is the third confirmed entrant in the 12th edition of the round-the-world yacht race, after the all-woman Team SCA and a team representing the Brazilian state of Pernambuco.

The Abu Dhabi team joined the last edition of the race under the auspices of former commercial director David Hassett, who was previously instrumental in bringing the race to Galway for the first time in 2009, and was one of the team behind Ireland's underdog entry the Green Dragon, which surprised the yachting world by clinching three podium finishes.

Meanwhile, the stopover will be the end point of Leg 2 from Recife in Brazil, making for "one of the longest and most challenging in the 40-year history of this race" according to Volvo Ocean Race CEO Knut Frostad.

"Heading into the Southern Ocean is never easy and this route will test the sailors to the limit," he added. "The finish line in Abu Dhabi will be one of the most eagerly awaited in the race.”

The news comes two weeks after Newport in Rhode Island was announced at the sixth host port of the race - and an understanding that no Irish ports will feature in the final route, according to The Irish Times.

Elsewhere, the VOR website visits the Persico factory in Italy in where the hulls are being completed for the new design VOR 65 in its latest video update - and also takes a look at the construction of the rigs for the new boat at Southern Spars in New Zealand.

In other news, it's emerged that Puma is pulling out of the sailing market, cutting its support for the Oracle team in the America's Cup and permanently dry-docking its Volvo Ocean Race team.

Reuters reports that the decision was made in the face of dwindling profits at the German sportswear brand.

Puma came third in the last edition of the VOR, which has its successful climax in Galway last summer.

Published in Volvo Ocean Race

#MarineWildlife - Check out this wonderful video - via the Baltimore Photos Facebook page - of two male humpback whales fighting over a prospective female partner off West Cork late last year.

Richard O'Flynn, who posted the footage to YouTube, says: "We were following two humpbacks for about 30 minutes when a third one turned up.

"What you're seeing here is the female to the right of the shot and her partner between her and the third humpback trying to keep him away from her. It went on for about one-and-a-half hours!"

O'Flynn said it was only his second time using the video camera "so please forgive the shake... and I was driving the boat at the same time!"

Published in Marine Wildlife

#RNLI - The volunteer lifeboat crew with Rosslare Harbour RNLI launched at 10.30am on Wednesday morning (6 February) to a fishing vessel drifting dangerously close to the shore in a force 8 gale (see video below).

The vessel was located about a mile from the lifeboat station in Rosslare Harbour and the lifeboat was on scene within minutes.

Two volunteer lifeboat crew were transferred to the drifting vessel whose moorings were unable to hold due to an unexpected change in the wind direction, and brought it under control in severe weather conditions.



The vessel was brought safely to the main harbour and secured. The callout last just over two hours.



Commenting on the callout, Rosslare Harbour RNLI deputy launching authority David Maloney said: "Weather conditions this morning in Rosslare Bay were very challenging and the crew showed great skill in bringing the vessel to safety. 

"If the lifeboat had not launched, I have no doubt that the vessel would have been washed ashore."

Published in RNLI Lifeboats
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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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