ESRI Report Rejected by Offshore Wind Group (Ireland)


A group representing offshore wind power firms has rejected an ESRI report which calls for an end to subsidies for the sector.

The National Offshore Wind Association (NOW Ireland) said that the country cannot meets its renewable energy targets without offshore wind energy production.

Responding to the ESRI’s Review of Irish Energy Policy, it said that renewable energy targets are likely to increase and that offshore wind investment is needed to meet the challenge.

Ireland has entered into legally binding commitments to comply with obligations under EU climate change targets. The stipulation is that 20% of EU energy consumption must come from renewable sources by 2020 and NOW Ireland claims that wind energy has a significant part to play in meeting this target.

“Without significant investment in this area, the country will miss the 2020 targets and face substantial penalties,” the group said.

“The time to begin developing this industry is now, not in five years when we are closer to a crisis, and remain dependent on expensive fossil fuel imports. Given the inexorable rise in the cost of oil and gas, wind energy brings stability and certainty to the cost of electricity.

“Ireland can produce much more offshore wind energy than we need so there is potential for offshore wind generated in Ireland to be exported to other EU countries.

“The sector can attract substantial new investment to Ireland, to create new growth centres in the economy and to create jobs at a time of need.

“There is huge potential to turn this into a world leading export industry, Ireland’s offshore resources are one of the country’s finest assets,” NOW Ireland added.

By Suzanne Blair (insideireland)


Source: insideireland, April 28, 2011; Image: istock