IWEA Chief Calls Irish For Greater Offshore Wind Urgency

CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) David Connolly has called for greater urgency from the Irish government and political system to support the development of offshore wind.

According to Connolly, Ireland’s Climate Action Plan sets out the vision and actions on how offshore wind can be developed, but a sense of urgency is also necessary, from both the government and the political system, to ensure goals are being met ahead of time.

“Our industry is ready, willing and able to deliver the 3,500 MW of offshore wind energy by 2030 required in the Climate Action Plan. But there is uncertainty about whether the legislative and policy changes needed to ensure offshore wind is harnessed to power our homes, businesses and economy are happening fast enough,” Connolly said.

The government needs to take action so that the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill is published before the end of the year and prioritized for passage through the Oireachtas, Connelly said.

The IWEA CEO stated that the Irish offshore wind supply chain needs to get urgent financial support and the Grid Connections Policy must enable offshore wind farms to connect to the electricity grid.

In addition, the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme needs to commence as quickly as possible to ensure offshore wind farms get the support they need to develop.

“It may be more than ten years to 2030 but that’s a very short space of time to build an offshore wind industry from scratch and there is absolutely no time to waste,” Connolly concluded.

Ireland is currently home to only one operational offshore wind project, the 7-turbine 25MW Arklow Bank Phase 1, which was delivered in 2004 to prove the opportunity that offshore wind could represent for Ireland.

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