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Power From The Sea - Offshore Renewable Energy
Hornsea One offshore wind farm in the north Sea comprising of 174 7 MW turbines and a total capacity of 1,2 GW giving it the title of  the world's largest offshore wind farm
Ireland is among a group of eight European countries aiming to quadruple wind energy generation and develop “islands” linking offshore energy infrastructure. As the Irish Times reports, the plans was outlined at a summit on Monday in the coastal Belgian…
OSV Relume
Next Geosolutions will perform a detailed marine, geotechnical and UXO survey on behalf of Nexans for CIDAC as part of the Celtic Interconnector project. These surveys will follow the planned route of the Celtic Interconnector offshore power cable route between…
The jack-up barge Excalibur
Geotechnical site investigations will be conducted on the Codling Wind Park project site off the coast of Co Wicklow from early next month. Project works will commence on Monday 8 May and continue through to late July, subject to weather…
Voe Vanguard
Kish Offshore Wind Ltd and Bray Offshore Wind Ltd will be conducting geotechnical investigations on the Dublin Array project site and associated export cable corridor off the coast of counties Dublin and Wicklow from later this month. The geotechnical investigations…
Location of the Sceirde Rocks Offshore Wind Farm area, the Foreshore Lease area and the Foreshore Licence area
Inshore fishermen working grounds in Galway Bay have expressed concern about the impact of geotechnical works for one of the Irish west coast’s first offshore wind farms. The Sceirde Rocks fixed bottom offshore wind farm in north Galway Bay is…
SSE Renewables logo
The Department of Transport has been advised that a geophysical survey will be undertaken in the North Celtic Sea to provide site investigation information to facilitate SSE Renewables’ development of the Celtic Sea Array. This survey work is anticipated to…
Green Rebel’s survey vessel Roman Rebel
A geophysical survey is being undertaken in the North Irish Sea to provide site investigation information to facilitate the development of a wind turbine generator (WTG) array at the Setanta Wind Park. The survey work for the offshore wind project…
Vermilion Energy says it is now “the largest provider of domestic natural gas in Ireland” after confirming acquisition of the Equinor ASA stake in the project
The Canadian-based operator of the Corrib gas field has increased its stake in the north Mayo project to 56.5 per cent. Vermilion Energy says it is now “the largest provider of domestic natural gas in Ireland” after confirming acquisition of…
The Floating LiDAR Buoy ready to be deployed from the Anchor Handling Vessel BB Ocean off the east coast of Scotland. The buoy is designed to operate autonomously at sea and uses laser technology to profile the speed of winds at heights of up to 300m. It also delivers data on waves, ocean currents and water quality. The data captured is sent back to shore, where a team of specialists can interpret it at Green Rebel’s dedicated MetOcean base in Limerick
A floating offshore wind farm project off the east coast of Scotland has reached a major milestone with the deployment of technology to collect data about wind speeds, wave heights, and ocean currents at the proposed site. Green Rebel, a…
The Dutch Pearl
The Department of Transport has been advised by Kish Offshore Wind Ltd and Bray Offshore Wind Ltd that geotechnical investigations will be conducted on the Dublin Array offshore wind farm project site off the coast of counties Dublin and Wicklow. The…
Kerry Education and Training Board (Kerry ETB) has been named the Talent and Skills Development Award winner at the Irish Wind Energy Awards. The award was presented in recognition of Kerry ETB's innovative approach to developing talent and skills in the renewable energy sector and pictured (left to right) are Ioseph Nestor - Assistant Manager - Kerry College, Kasia Loiko, national apprenticeship co-ordinator and Andy Keane, wind turbine instructor
Kerry Education and Training Board (Kerry ETB) has been named the Talent and Skills Development Award winner at the recent Irish Wind Energy Awards. The award was presented in recognition of Kerry ETB's innovative approach to developing talent and skills…
David McInerney, ElectroRoute category sponsor presenting the Excellence in Project Delivery award to Kieran Ivers, CEO, Green Rebel
An Irish data company that provides site investigation services to the offshore wind sector has been recognised at the Irish Wind Industry Awards. Green Rebel was shortlisted in two categories and was named as winner of both at a gala…
Wind energy turbine as seen from below
Mac Lir Offshore Wind Limited (MLOWL) is undertaking a geophysical reconnaissance survey within an area of survey off the coast of counties Wicklow and Wexford for a proposed offshore wind energy project. The survey was expected to commence Sunday 12…
Ireland’s journey towards maximising our offshore wind energy capacity is being accelerated
The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan TD, has welcomed Cabinet approval for plans to accelerate the delivery of 5GW of offshore wind by 2030.  The Policy Statement on the Framework for Phase Two Offshore Wind will…
The Marine Institute’s research vessel Celtic Explorer
MERC Environmental Consultants Ltd and the Marine Institute are undertaking site investigation survey works at the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site in Co Mayo. The surveys are expected to be completed over a three-day period during the nearest available weather…
Caroline Bocquel is the new Chief Executive Officer of Bord Iascaigh Mhara
BIM’s new chief executive Caroline Bocquel has warned the offshore renewable energy (ORE) sector that it must improve its communication with the Irish fishing industry. She has also told offshore wind developers that there should be “minimal impact” on the…

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.

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