Ireland Charts Course for 37 GW Offshore Wind Development

Irish Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, has launched the Future Framework for Offshore Renewable Energy, which provides a roadmap for Ireland to deliver 37 GW of offshore wind by 2050.

The framework sets out the pathway Ireland will take to deliver 20 GW of offshore wind by 2040 and at least 37 GW in total by 2050. Critically, it also provides the evidence base for Ireland’s offshore renewable energy (ORE) targets.

“This is a dynamic, fast-paced and evolving landscape and we are setting out our Future Framework now so that we will be ready, along with our local communities and business partners, for the future of all potential offshore renewable energy sources, including fixed and floating wind, wave and tidal renewable energy,” said Minister Ryan.

The publication of the future framework follows a consultation period earlier this year. It represents one of the key actions under the Offshore Wind Energy Programme developed by the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce.

The Future Framework for Offshore Renewable Energy includes 29 key actions to develop Ireland’s long-term, plan-led approach to offshore wind.

One of the key actions includes providing the structures and supports necessary to establish a future Designated Maritime Area Plan (DMAP) roadmap and Design and creating a follow-up programme to the Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme, ORESS.

According to the ministry, the key actions are built on an analysis of economic opportunities to encourage investment and maximise the financial and economic return of offshore renewable energy to the State and local communities.

It also explores the potential to export excess renewable energy through increased interconnection, and analyses opportunities for using excess renewable energy for alternative energy products and services that can be fed into international markets.

Another key action, the draft South Coast DMAP, will be announced on Friday, 3 May.

“Our offshore wind energy is potentially the largest domestic source of electricity that can replace volatile, imported fossil fuels. It also gives us our most exciting industrial opportunity for decades as we plan to not only power our own country, but export our excess energy to power Europe,” said Minister Ryan.

In May 2023, the Irish government selected four projects with a combined capacity of nearly 3.1 GW in the first offshore wind auction under the country’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS 1): the 1,300 MW Codling Wind Parkthe 824 MW Dublin Arraythe 500 MW North Irish Sea Array (NISA), and the 450 MW Sceirde Rocks.

The government is planning to continue to Phase Two tenders, with the first round, ORESS 2.1, planned to launch this year.

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Earlier last year, Ireland’s Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, also announced plans to develop a National Industrial Strategy for Offshore Wind which will set out how Ireland can maximise the economic opportunity arising from the production of offshore wind energy.

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