Ireland emerging as attractive market for offshore wind

Falling development costs and new technology have made Ireland an attractive emerging market for offshore wind, it has been claimed.

According to Dr Val Cummins from UCC’s School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Science, offshore wind has become increasingly important with government targets to increase the amount of energy coming from renewable sources.

“Up until recently, development was stalled because of the high costs of doing business in Ireland, uncertainty with the offshore planning process, and the lack of government support,” she said.

“Falling development costs and new technology are among the factors that have made Ireland an attractive emerging market.”

Dr Cummins said research underway in the Eirwind project, based in the MaREI Centre, is important to facilitate evidence-based policy making for the sector into the future.

“The need for science to inform policy was highlighted by John Kerry in his keynote speech at the City Hall,” she said.

“He also stressed the need for energy policy to respond to targets for decarbonisation.

Eirwind research includes studies of the marine environment, public perception, new routes to market and the cost of energy production.

“Innovative solutions concerning power to gas and the potential to introduce hydrogen as a source of transport and heat, are also being investigated. In fact, the Eirwind project is the most significant industry research project in the Centre to date.”

There are 10 companies are supporting the research, together with Science Foundation Ireland. The companies include Brookfield, DP Energy, ESB, Equinor, Engie, EDPR, Enerco, Simply Blue, SSE and Statkraft.

The Eirwind consortium will host a networking event during the Ocean Wealth Summit. Dr Cummins is one of a number of speakers to present at the Irish Marine Industry Showcase in City Hall today.

Participants will be joined by international delegates from UK, Norway, France and the Middle East, for a programme covering offshore renewables, ports and maritime surveillance.

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