Ireland’s opportunity in floating wind
1 February 2024
From Ireland’s Minister for Finance Michael McGrath TD to the President of Sinn Féin – Mary Lou McDonald; and from State regulators and policymakers to leading developers and incisive strategy makers, over the last two days we heard from the brightest minds on how Ireland’s offshore wind industry is advancing.
As proud sponsors of Wind Energy Ireland’s annual conference, the sense of purpose and solutions-focused discussions have been inspiring.
Grid related concerns and timelines for planning consent remain top of the ‘risk-register’, but as Noel Cunniffe, CEO of WEI explained – practical improvements have been forthcoming. Ireland’s planning department has overseen its team size expand significantly to process project applications against set timeframes, whilst State agencies and Sector bodies clearly have greater integration and clarity in their roles. Then there’s the recently created Climate Action Fund, a ringfenced Government investment of €500 million, to drive through structural decarbonisation across the country up to 2027.
Presenting in Session 8 – Getting Offshore Wind Delivered, Richard Wakefield, Early Opportunities Manager urged Ireland’s wind industry to seize its opportunity in floating offshore wind.
Discussing evidence-based learnings at Kincardine, Dr Wakefield reasoned how sea-states and wind speeds off Ireland’s south coast are comparative to the mid North Sea and how these factors play a leading role in Flotation Energy’s planning of floating sites off the coast of County Wexford. Standardising and industrialising floating technologies will critically bring costs down and provide assurances to supply chains.
We look forward to working with the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) and stakeholder network in the months ahead, as we progress our projects and ensure Ireland grasps the strategic opportunities that lie in the Celtic Sea and the wider east coast offshore region.
Thank you to session Chair Una Brosnan , Innovative Climate Solutions and fellow panellists Robert McGuinness, DECC; Jeannine Dunne, Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions; and Vanessa O’Connell, RWE.