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Displaying items by tag: Offshore Renewable Energy

Offshore renewable energy will receive a boost with the EU’s decision to withdraw from the international Energy Charter Treaty, according to Ireland South MEP Seán Kelly.

The treaty, which dates back to 1998, was “designed to protect energy companies at the time, but has recently been viewed as an obstacle to modern policies to address climate change”, he says.

MEPs voted by 58 votes in favour, eight against and two abstentions to withdraw from the treaty at a joint meeting of the European Parliament’s trade and industry committees.

"The withdrawal from the Energy Charter Treaty is an important step that underscores the EU's commitment to fostering sustainable energy practices and mitigating climate change,"Kelly, who sits on both committees, noted.

"The outdated nature of the treaty hindered our ability to enact meaningful change in line with the Paris Agreement and impeded our progress towards achieving our climate and energy targets,"he said.

Once it became clear that the treaty could not be modernised, it made sense for the EU to leave it, Kelly noted.

The provisions of the international agreement “provided undue protection to fossil fuel investments, undermining our efforts to move towards renewable energy sources”, Kelly said.

"It is crucial that we maintain an equal playing field and provide flexibility for member states to adapt to the changing energy landscape," he stated.

The Energy Charter Treaty among 53 contracting parties was signed in 1994 and came into force in 1998.

Published in Power From the Sea

Powering Prosperity – Ireland’s Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy, the first strategy of its kind for Ireland, aims to build a successful, vibrant and impactful offshore wind energy industry in Ireland.

This will ensure that the sector creates as much value as possible throughout Ireland and maximises the economic benefits associated with government ambitions to deliver its 2030, 2040 and 2050 offshore wind targets.

Powering Prosperity, which includes 40 actions that will be implemented in 2024 and 2025, was developed as part of close ongoing collaboration between the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment and other Government departments and agencies within the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce (OWDT).

These actions aim to build a strong and resilient offshore wind supply chain in Ireland, as well as exploring opportunities for Irish companies to play a major role in the development of offshore wind projects in Ireland and abroad.

It also explores opportunities to leverage Ireland’s existing strengths in RD&I, finding ways to support the sector to reach the cutting edge of future developments in offshore wind.

The era of offshore wind represents a game-changing opportunity for communities right across Ireland and particularly around our coastline. The country’s key deployment and O&M ports can be major industrial hubs of the future transforming regions in the process.

A suite of policies related to the transmission of and demand for OWE and its derivatives also inform this strategy, including the review of the National Ports Policy, which will be conducted by the IMDO on behalf of the Department of Transport. The National Ports Policy provides the overarching policy framework for the governance and future development of Ireland’s State port network and is an important piece of policy development given the role that ports are expected to play in the delivery of offshore renewable energy.

Published in Power From the Sea

Minister for Enterprise Simon Coveney has said he intends to publish an offshore renewable energy (ORE) industrial strategy very shortly.

A draft of the strategy was due to be presented to Cabinet this week, he told the third annual national seafarers’ conference in Limerick.

A test site for floating offshore wind, similar to the Atlantic test site developed in north Mayo, is being considered as part of the industrial strategy, he said.

He said the ORE industrial strategy “aligns with the ORE “Future Framework” policy statement being prepared by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications.

“Indeed, the industrial strategy will help to realise the plan-led approach set out in the “Future Framework” by building capacity and capability along the supply chain here in Ireland,” Coveney said.

The potential for accelerating a designated area map (DMAP) for the west coast is being examined by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications, Coveney told the conference.

A draft DMAP for the Irish south coast in relation to potential ORE sites has already been published for public consultation

“Successful decarbonisation of the Irish economy through offshore renewable energy development does not have to come at the expense of high quality, low carbon Irish seafood,” Coveney said.

“A sustainable, resilient seafood sector is very much Government policy through the Food Vision 2030 strategy. The nature of the skills involved in supporting our fishing industry is a key asset to Ireland as we look to develop our presence in the international offshore wind market,” he said.

“Places like Killybegs, where Enterprise Ireland is working with Ireland’s first marine cluster, speak to this,” he said.

“Here we have a natural, sheltered deep water port with a vibrant hub where engineering, electrical, ship maintenance and offshore services are already used by renewable energy developers and offshore petroleum companies, side by side with highly profitable seafood companies,” he said.

“Indeed, when I visited Fraserburgh in Scotland two weeks ago, I was struck by the similarities,” he said.

“While a lot of focus is on our largest commercial ports being ORE-ready, we will need a lot of skills in a range of ports to meet our renewable energy targets. It’s good to acknowledge where we already have some strong bases to build from,” he said.

Published in Power From the Sea

Ireland’s strategy for offshore renewable energy are among topics incorporated in an updated draft of Ireland’s national energy and climate plan for Europe, which has been opened for public consultation this week.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan said engagement with stakeholders was “central to its success” when he marked the opening of the new draft national energy and climate plan (NECP) to public consultation on Thursday (Feb 8).

All European Union (EU) member states, including Ireland, develop the so-called NECPs to outline progress towards their climate and energy objectives and targets under EU legislation.

The updated NECP covers the period from 2021 to 2030.

It focuses on the actions Ireland is taking to meet its EU 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, renewable energy, energy efficiency and electricity interconnection, as mandated by EU Regulations and Directives.

“While the NECP projections are based on 2021 implemented policies, in accordance with EU guidelines, I am conscious that this is not as ambitious as our own recent 2024 climate action plan,” Ryan said.

“Therefore, I encourage all stakeholders to be ambitious and to share their valuable feedback with us to help shape a robust response to our EU targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, renewable energy, energy efficiency and electricity interconnection,”he said.

“The final NECP will reflect most recent projections and our future ambition,” he said.

This consultation forms a key component of the NECP process, which will culminate with the submission of a final NECP to the European Commission in June 2024, Ryan’s department noted.

Ireland submitted its draft NECP to the Commission in 2023. The feedback from the Commission’s assessment of the draft, in addition to the feedback from the stakeholder consultation, will be reflected in the final NECP.

As the document evolves to incorporate these changes, along with the integration of Ireland’s new, more ambitious European targets and updated policies, it is anticipated that the final NECP will represent a substantially developed update to the draft which was submitted in December 2023, the department said.

It said further consultation will be carried out prior to the submission of the final NECP, to ensure that stakeholders are kept informed on the process and are given an opportunity to contribute to the shaping of this document.

Information on how to make a submission to the NECP consultation is here

Published in Power From the Sea

A consultation on Ireland’s long term plan for offshore renewable energy (ORE) has been welcomed by Minister for Environment and Climate Eamon Ryan.

The consultation is on the “Future Framework” policy statement, described as a long-term model and vision for offshore renewable energy in Ireland.

The framework includes 21 key actions and “sets out the pathway Ireland will take to deliver 20GW of offshore wind by 2040 and at least 37GW in total by 2050”, Ryan says.

It also looks beyond 2030 targets to secure 5GW of offshore wind and 2GW earmarked for the production of green hydrogen, Ryan’s department has said.

"Deliver 20GW of offshore wind by 2040 and at least 37GW in total by 2050”

Several key reports have also been published, including a strategic environmental assessment and appropriate assessment of the ORE “Future Framework” policy statement, and an economic market analysis on the viability of ORE targets and potential export opportunities.

The policy statement is “built on an analysis of economic opportunities to encourage investment and maximise the financial and economic return of offshore renewable energy to the State and local communities”, the department says.

“It also explores the potential to export excess renewable energy through increased interconnection, and analyses opportunities for using excess renewable energy for alternative energy products and services that can be fed into international markets. This includes renewable hydrogen and chemicals such as ammonia or methanol, which can be used instead of carbon-intense fuels in the aviation and maritime industries,” it says.

A final version of the ORE “Future Framework” will be approved by the government and co-published with the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment’s National Industrial Strategy for Offshore Wind in the Spring.

Information on how to make a submission to the consultation is available here.

The accompanying reports can be viewed here.

Published in Power From the Sea

Ireland is well placed to seize the opportunities presented by a boon in offshore projects, according to the head of the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI).

Speaking to The Journal ahead of the NMCI’s third annual Seafarers’ Conference next month, Paul Hegarty says all the potential is there to train and support the huge workforce that large-scale offshore wind energy (OWE) and other projects will require.

And while he says the NMCI already provides much of this training, both practical skills for mariners as well as supply chain and logistics, he also acknowledges there are gaps in its curriculum that need to be filled.

For instance, it does not currently cover pilotage of remote operated vehicles (ROVs) which are critical for the planning, installation and maintenance of subsea cable networks for power delivery from wind farms.

Hegarty also has ambitions of expanding the NMCI beyond its Cork Harbour base to satellite campuses — particularly on the East Coast where the bulk of OWE projects approved in last summer’s State auction are located.

The Journal has more on the story HERE.

Published in Power From the Sea

Commitments to overcoming some of the challenges facing the offshore renewable energy sector are expected to receive a boost, with early morning agreement on a new climate deal at Cop 28 in Dubai.

Minister for Climate Eamon Ryan hailed the agreement as “historic”, while former president Mary Robinson criticised it as falling short of full phase-out of fossil fuels.

Renewable energy sector businesses have expressed frustration here at the slow pace of development, while the fishing industry sector has called for far more consultation.

The new Maritime Area Regulatory Authority (MARA) is running a public consultation on its designated area map for the south coast.

The agreement to “transition away from fossil fuels” at the UN climate talks in the UAE has elicited mixed reactions, with Marie Donnelly, chair of the Climate Change Advisory Council, noting that the fossil fuels lobby’s grip has been broken.

Friends of the Earth Ireland said that the COP28 deal was not strong enough to deliver an end to fossil fuels without global people power to drive government action around the world.

The environmental campaigning organisation cited what it identified as a “litany of loopholes” noted by the small island states most vulnerable to climate change.

It said these loopholes could allow fossil fuel interests to continue with “business as usual” unless citizens and campaigners demand systems change.

Speaking in Dubai, Jerry Mac Evilly, head of policy in Friends of the Earth said:

“The fossil fuel ‘elephant in the room’ has finally been put front and centre thanks to the tireless efforts of civil society around the world,” MacEvilly said.

“Yet the 'elephant’ remains on the rampage. COP28 broke the climate silence on fossil fuels but it has not yet broken the grip of fossil fuel interests on our energy system and on much of our political system. Today’s agreement may have signalled the beginning of the end of the fossil fuel era but it does not ensure it. We the people will have to do that,” he said.

Published in Power From the Sea

Greater detail and certainty on the location of offshore renewable energy (ORE) off the Irish coast and greater alignment with relevant policies and plans were among key issues raised during public consultation on the State’s draft second ORE development plan.

“Significant feedback was also received on technical criteria, environmental considerations and the sharing of the maritime space,” the Department of Environment has said.

The findings are included in an independent report summarising public consultation feedback on the second plan, known as OREDP II.

Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD, has welcomed publication of the report, which summarised feedback from pubic consultation over an eight-week period from February to April 2023.

The draft OREDP II proposed a national-level spatial strategy to guide locations for the future development of offshore renewable energy, and both Ryan and the Tánaiste Micheál Martin participated in workshops to support the consultation.

Over 1,100 people took part in the nationwide consultation, including members of the public and key stakeholder groups.

The engagement included six in-person workshops, ten informal outreach visits to coastal communities, five online information events, and one exhibit at a trade fair for fisheries.

“The feedback noted that there are many potential benefits and opportunities for Ireland in developing offshore renewable energy in terms of delivering on the Climate Action Plan, economic development and ensuring security of supply,”the department says.

“Participants requested greater detail and certainty on the location of offshore renewable energy as part of the post-consultation version of the OREDP II, and greater alignment with relevant policies and plans (both marine and terrestrial),”it said.

“Significant feedback was also received on technical criteria, environmental considerations and the sharing of the maritime space,”it said.

“I have carefully considered all of the feedback, and my department, along with other Government departments, will continue to work closely with local communities to ensure that any developments of our offshore wind resources are managed in a planned, strategic, economical and sustainable way,” Ryan said.

The OREDP II, public consultation report, is available to view at gov.ie/OffshoreEnergyPlan

Published in Marine Planning

The European Commission says it is “doubling down” on efforts to support offshore renewable energy with additional actions.

It says member states must collectively install almost 12 gigawatts (GW) a year on average to meet ambitious new goals set after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

A target of 12 GW annually is ten times more than the new 1.2 GW of offshore wind installed last year, it notes.

The cumulative offshore installed capacity among 27 member states last year amounted to 16.3 GW.

EU member states recently agreed on ambitious new goals for offshore renewable energy generation by 2050, with intermediate goals for 2030 and 2040 for each of the EU's five sea basins, it notes.

Additional actions include a commitment to strengthen grid infrastructure and regional cooperation; to accelerate permitting; to ensure integrated maritime spatial planning; to strengthen resilience of infrastructure’ and to sustain research and innovation, and develop supply chains and skills.

Details of its new communication of delivering offshore renewable energy can be found here

 

Published in Power From the Sea

Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan opened the first Offshore Facilitation Forum in Dublin on Thursday (29 June), where he underlined the vital role of ports in delivering the Government’s targets of 5GW of offshore wind energy by 2030.

The minister also stressed the importance of developers and ports engaging in meaningful commercial discussions in order to underpin the commercial viability of the significant investments required.

Opening the forum, Minister Ryan acknowledged the work by Government to set Ireland on the path into a new sustainable future of renewable energy.

“We need to accelerate the important mission of delivering offshore wind energy in Ireland over the coming decade at a scale and scope that we perhaps haven’t seen since the electrification of the country,” he said. “I am very encouraged to see that our ambition as a nation is being supported enthusiastically by ports and developers.

“We have already had our first successful offshore wind auction and we are already making plans for phases two and three. We are about to launch MARA, the specialised Maritime Area Regulatory Authority, which will play a central role in the new streamlined consenting system for the maritime area. It is vital that robust and supported port ORE infrastructure plans move at the same ambitious pace.

“It is now vital that robust port ORE infrastructure plans move at the same ambitious pace, supported by developer engagement and commitment. These plans are critical to demonstrating not just the technical and commercial viability of our ports, but also to support them in their applications for funding, to secure financial investment, as well as facilitating the progression of port projects through required consenting and planning processes.

“Developers now play a key role in supporting ports to accelerate the development of robust and evidence-based project plans.”

The Offshore Facilitation Forum was attended by developers who recently took part in the Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS 1) auction and ports that are progressing plans to facilitate ORE, along with the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO), Irish Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF), European Investment Bank (EIB), Wind Energy Ireland, Marine Renewables Industry Association and officials from a number of departments in the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce.

The purpose of the forum is to bring the port companies, developers, financing bodies and Governmental departments together, to update on the breadth of work undertaken across the Government system to facilitate ORE development, as well as highlight the opportunities available to ports and developers. The forum provides for further engagement and exchange across key stakeholders at a critical juncture of ORE implementation and project development.

The Department of Transport says continues its support to assist ports and developers in the delivery of robust ORE infrastructure projects.

Published in Power From the Sea
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About the Endurance II Replica Project

An Irish project has been launched on the 150th anniversary of explorer Ernest Shackleton's birth, to build a replica of his ship, Endurance II, in County Kildare.

The project has high-profile patrons such as the Prince Albert II of Monaco, Alexandra Shackleton (Shackleton's granddaughter), and Richard Garriott, the President of the Explorer's Club.

The project is still at the concept stage, so the estimated cost of construction, which is expected to be around €14m, and the annual operational budget of €1.5m are not yet confirmed.

The project organisers are seeking $600,000 (€556,350) from 12 "founders," who will each contribute $50,000. The chairman of private investment firm Kilcullen Kapital Partners, Galway-born O’Coineen, bought the Business Post newspaper in 2018.