Ireland could add 70GW offshore
Government releases strategy to unleash offshore potential
Marine renewables off the coast of Ireland have the potential to produce over 70GW of energy, more than 14 times the country’s current energy demand, according to a government report.
The Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan released by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte outlined a strategy for the development of Ireland’s ocean energy resources.
The report, which took four years to produce, said that much of the energy that could be produced offshore would ultimately be available for export to other countries in Europe.
It also stressed the importance of Ireland capitalising on the offshore energy supply chain, which, according to the National Offshore Wind Association of Ireland, could be worth as much as €60bn.
NOW Ireland general secretary Brian Britton said: “Harnessing our marine resources, particularly offshore wind can create jobs and provide an important new source of revenue for the state.
“At present, Ireland imports €6bn worth of fossil fuel per year. From offshore wind resources we can generate €8bn in exports. This will be achieved at zero cost to the Irish consumer.
“Foundation manufacturing, professional services, surveying works and operation and maintenance centres could be based at Irish ports. These would require skill sets which are already available in Ireland.”
Image: Ireland's first offshore wind farm is at Arklow Bank (NREL)