Displaying items by tag: marine energy
Galway Bay FM reports on yesterday’s (Tuesday 19 December) announcement that paves the way for a quarter-scale renewable energy testing facility for wind and wave devices to be established on the site, which has been used to test new technology since 2006 and which is expected to further the aims of the Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth Strategy.
In a nod to local concerns over the project — which received more than 500 submissions in a public consultation last year — the site will be restricted to hosting a single floating wind energy device at ant given time, among other conditions.
Galway Bay FM has more on the story HERE.
And according to the Connacht Tribune, many voiced serious concerns over the project’s potential impact on Galway Bay.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the Marine Institute had applied to the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government for a foreshore lease for the site where prototype marine and renewable energy technology would be tested at reduced scale.
The consultation period, which closed on 17 June last, was accompanied by a public information evening on the project and its ambitions.
However, the Connacht Tribune reports that the response from local businesses and communities has been largely negative.
One fisherman expressed his fear that the lease area could be expanded into prawn grounds already reduced by the original lease for the site a decade ago.
Other concerns include the 35-year period of the lease, the scope and veracity of information provided, and the lack of an Environmental Impact Statement, as well as the impact on tourism on the Wild Atlantic Way in South Connemara.
The Connacht Tribune has more on the story HERE.
As The Irish Times reports, the Marine Renewables Industry Association (MRIA) maintains a healthy outlook for the development of wave and tidal energy projects despite revising its predictions for the next decade.
Though "technical challenges" remain in offshore renewables for both wave and wind power generation, Ireland has been marked for "generally strong" policy in the area – and has been encouraged to work with Scotland towards closing the funding gap between research and commercial application.
Singled out for its significant contributions in the sector is the SFI Research Centre, Marine Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) at University College Cork (UCC), which also houses the Lir National Ocean Test Facility.
That's one of a number of Irish 'innovation hubs' involved in exploring the potential benefits of ocean energy, as previously reported on Afloat.ie – and as discussed at the recent symposium of marine energy leaders in Cork.
Marine Journal has much more on the story HERE.
The Southern Star reports on the 'Discover Wildlife Weekends' being run from Rosscarbery by local company Ireland's Wildlife starting this April, where those taking part will be led by expert guides to explore the coastal region and have the best opportunities to spot the many species of whales and dolphins that visit our shores.
Weather permitting, the weekends will also involve some offshore whale watching in the company of 'whale watch supremo' Colin Barnes and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group's (IWDG) sightings co-ordinator Pádraig Whooley.
And birdwatching will also be a feature, as West Cork is a hotspot for our feathered friends - from merlins and peregrine falcons to coastal waders and more exotic fowl that skirt our coasts on their spring migrations.
The Southern Star has much more on the story HERE.
Meanwhile, marine sector stakeholders have expressed their concerns over the designation of six new offshore marine areas by the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the six sites at Blackwater Bank in Wexford, the West Connacht coast, Hempton's Turbot Bank in Donegal, the Porcupine Bank Canyon off Kerry, the South-East Rockall Bank, and the stretch from Rockabill to Dalkey Island off Dublin have been proposed for designation as Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) to protect marine habitats and species listed on the 1992 EU Habitats Directive.
But at a recent meeting at the Irish Farm Centre in Dublin, a coalition of fish farmers, fishermen and marine energy stakeholders have hit out at what they characterise as "the appalling handling of inshore designations since the 1990s by the State", which they claim "has resulted in hundreds of job losses and a flight of serious investment" from Ireland's coastal areas.
“Our experience of the Irish Government’s application of the EU Habitats Directive has been a saga of mismanagement, foot dragging and buck-passing which has left over 500 fish farming licences in limbo for over 10 years and a backlog of red tape and bureaucracy which could see producers waiting until 2020 and beyond for simple renewals which are vital to underpin their businesses," said IFA aquaculture executive Richie Flynn.