Wednesday, 6 October 2021
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Wind Energy Generation
3. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the steps being taken to avail of the extraordinary renewable wind energy off the west coast of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [48436/21]
Ireland’s increased climate and energy ambition is reflected by the Government target to achieve 5GW of installed offshore wind generation by 2030. There is a further commitment in the Programme for Government to develop a longer-term plan to utilize the potential 30GW of offshore floating wind power in our Atlantic waters. The 5GW target will be primarily met through development of offshore renewable energy (ORE) in Ireland’s eastern and southern coastal regions. This reflects the suitability of water depths in these regions for deployment of conventional fixed bottom offshore wind turbines and existing electricity grid infrastructure to connect these projects to the onshore grid.
Subsequent cost-effective deployment of renewables in deeper waters off the west coast, to take advantage of stronger and more consistent wind speeds, should be increasingly feasible through future advances in floating turbine technology.
Development of the Maritime Area Planning Bill (MAP) Bill is being led by the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, with my Department providing input on provisions specific to ORE.The enactment of this Bill will provide a modern, up-to-date regulatory framework that will enable ORE developments beyond the limits of the current foreshore regime, including off the west coast.
Work on a revised Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan has also been initiated by my Department. This will provide an evidence base for the assessment of areas most suitable for the sustainable development of wind, wave, and tidal technologies, in consultation with other maritime users.