The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton has acknowledged offshore wind generation is still underdeveloped in Ireland. This is despite the fact the State benefits from some of the best offshore renewable energy resources in Europe. While onshore wind met a record 29% of Ireland’s electricity demand in 2018 and continues to register significant growth, offshore wind development is lagging far behind.
Speaking in the Dáil, Minister Bruton pointed out that Ireland’s Atlantic maritime area extends to the edge of the continental shelf and covers almost 900,000km². The country has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe and he noted that this will be key in helping Ireland meet its 2030 emission targets.
Last month the Government released their Climate Action Plan which contains specific actions to develop Offshore Wind with the aim of connecting at least 3.5GW by 2030. In order to realise Ireland’s ambition for large-scale development of offshore wind, the plan has identified three key pillars which need significant progress including development management process; grid development model; and route to market.
The minister went on to say that he remained hopeful that Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) will provide 15% of the required generation to meet Ireland’s 2030 renewable electricity target.
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