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Displaying items by tag: wind

#Rowing: Methodist College, Belfast, beat Colaiste Iognaid in a thrilling first final at the Irish Schols’ Regatta at Lough Rinn this morning. The junior 16 boys eight became a battle between the two crews in the final 200 metres, with the Belfast boys finishing well to hold off ‘the Jes’ from Galway. The junior 15 women's eight was won by Coleraine Grammar School, while the women's junior 16 coxed four went to Colaiste Iognaid The windy conditions and choppy water saw the organisers decide to ask the pairs, doubles and singles to hold off on launching, though the programme had started. The University Championships was going ahead, with UCC's women's senior four starting their day with a win, and UCD winning the men's senior four. UCD also took the men's novice eight. Racing was then suspended.
Published in Rowing

#Rowing: The organisers of Lough Rynn Regatta, set for Saturday, have cancelled the event. As Thursday went on the weather forecasts suggested that the mean speed of the win would be over 20 kilometres per hour with gusts which could make rowing on some parts of the course unsafe.

 John Walsh, the regatta secretary, sent out a statement which said:

 It is with huge regret and a heavy heart that the committee of Lough Rynn Regatta communicates this press release to inform the clubs that the Regatta for 2018 scheduled for 5th May 2018 has been cancelled due to the forecasted wind and wind gusts that are promised tomorrow during the middle of the day.

 In the interest of athlete and volunteer safety we have made this decision in as timely a manner as possible. We gave the forecast every chance to improve once it deterioated yesterday afternoon and have even debated which forecast is the best to use. To be fair to all of the 41 clubs and 443 crews that were due to compete on the day and that were to due to travel from all over the country this decision is now being communicated in line with the initial announcement last night.

We would sincerely like to thank each and every one of the clubs, athletes and coaches who entered in such large numbers and to our army of volunteers who had set aside their day for the hosting of a successful regatta. Included in our volunteer rota was Mr. Eamonn Colclough, President of Rowing Ireland and Ms Michelle Carpenter the newly appointed CEO of Rowing Ireland. All our volunteers who have worked tirelessly over the past number of weeks are all equally devasted but safety comes first in this instance.

We will review the rowing calendar and hopefully will be back later in the year with an alternative event / date.

 Thank you all for your continued support.

Yours in rowing

John Walsh

Regatta Secretary

Published in Rowing

#StormEwan - Hot on the heels of last week’s Storm Doris, there is further ferry disruption today (Sunday 26 February) as Storm Ewan brings strong gusts to the East Coast.

Irish Ferries has cancelled its 8.45am and 2.30pm sailings from Dublin to Holyhead, as well as its 11.50am and 5.15pm return trips, all on the Swift, due to the adverse weather conditions forecast for the Irish Sea.

Met Éireann has issued a Status Orange national weather warning and gale warning as south to southwest winds are expected to reach Force 8-9 with storm force gusts on coasts from Malin Head to Carnsore Point to Valentia and on the Irish Sea.

Small craft are also warned as west to southwest winds will reach Force 6 or higher from Valentia to Slyne Head to Malin Head.

The most damaging gusts of up to 120kmh are expected along southern coasts, with a wind warning issued for Wexford, Cork, Kerry and Waterford until early this afternoon.

A Status Yellow warning is in place over mean wind speeds upwards of 50kmh and gusts of up to 110km in all other coastal and some Midlands counties in Leinster.

Published in Ferry

#Weather - Batten down the hatches: the West of Ireland is in for a windy one this coming Monday night (5 February).

The latest maps from Dark Sky show a large weather mass of high winds barrelling across the Atlantic from the west on Monday evening, reaching the Wild Atlantic Way after midnight.

Before that, Met Éireann warns to expect of heavy rain and windy weather nationwide with strong southeast winds.

Published in Weather
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#Cowes - The Island Echo reports on the death of a yachtsman on the Solent this afternoon after a blow to the head from his vessel's boom.

It's understood that the yachtsman was en route from Southampton to Yarmouth when the boat was diverted to Cowes on the Isle of Wight to shelter from persisting high winds.

It marks the second incident in two days in which strong winds from the tail end of Hurricane Bertha were a factor, after a Norwegian man was treated for arm and shoulder injuries in a gybe accident.

And this afternoon at least 10 dinghy sailors were injured when the GP14 Worlds fleet capsized in a squall on Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.

Published in News Update
Tagged under

#storm – Met Eireann have issued a 'status red' weather warning for Western and Northwestern counties, Galway, Mayo, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.

Storms will develop later today, with strong south to southwest winds expected over those counties, with damaging gusts of 120 to 150 km/h this afternoon and evening. This will also lead to very high seas.

 

Published in Weather
Tagged under

#Shipwreck - Two are reported dead after a shipwreck yesterday (Wednesday 10 April) on the Portuguese coast in what is a reminder to all cruisers of the dangers of strong winds in the region.

According to Portuguese language newspaper Publico, the deceased include one of the five crew of the German-flagged cruiser Meri Tuuli, and a member of the Portuguese maritime police attending to the incident who went into the water when his RIB overturned.

Eight people in total were admitted to hospital after the incident in which the Meri Tuuli - an X-442 yacht perated by a local sailing school - capsized on Cabedelo beach in Figueira da Foz, near Oporto.

Two are reported to be "wounded with traumatic injuries" while another two showed symptoms of hypothermia after exposure to the water.

Figueira da Foz is a popular cruising destination along the Iberian coast, but its port is vulnerable to the high swells that attract surfers to the area, sometimes closing altogether.

A source close to Afloat.ie described most harbour entrances along Portugal's west coast as "lethal during of after strong winter south or southwest winds" which are made stronger as air rushes into the valleys at river mouths as sea breezes.

Published in Cruising

#Weather - Met Éireann has issued a 'yellow' weather alert for coastal areas around Ireland today (4 February) as winds are expected to reach speeds of up to 110km/h.

Westerly winds will continue to reach gale force or strong gale force this evening and tonight on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea.

Severe gusts of 90 to 110 km/h are predicted for Connacht, Donegal and in coastal areas of Munster. Elsewhere winds will gust between 80 and 90 km/hr.

After dark, showers will become increasingly wintry with the possibility of snow and even blizzard-like conditions, especially in the north and west on high ground.

But meteorologists say that any lying snow will melt during the course of tomorrow morning and afternoon as temperatures rise.

Published in Weather

#Weather - After a relative lull for Christmas Day, Met Éireann warns that the high winds that swept across Ireland at the weekend will make their return today (26 December).

A small craft warning has been issued with west to southwest gales expected to reach force 6 or 7 this afternoon on coasts from Carlingford Lough to Wicklow Head to Carnsore Point.

Winds will also occasionally reach strong gale force this afternoon between Loop Head and Erris Head.

The weather service reports that westerly winds will reach up to 60 km per hour this afternoon and early evening with gusts of 70-100 km at their strongest in west Connacht.

Published in Weather

#Weather - Met Éireann has issued a weather warning for tonight (Saturday 22 December) with winds expected to reach up to 110km an hour.

Tonight and tomorrow morning, south-west to west winds are likely to increase in most parts of the country, with mean speeds and gusts that "have the potential to be damaging".

The Irish weather service also reports strong gales on all Irish coastal waters and on the Irish Sea, with winds expected to reach storm force later on coasts from Valentia to Erris Head to Fair Head.

Published in Weather
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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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