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Irish fears for offshore future

Government warned it will face sanctions if it misses EU targets

Irish fears for offshore future image

The National Offshore Wind Association of Ireland has warned that “narrow” existing government policy is leaving the country at risk of missing binding EU targets.

The group has warned that failing to meet 2020 targets will lead to substantial fines while also preventing export of green energy to Europe.

In a letter to the government NOW has called on ministers to “stop putting all of its eggs in one basket” with onshore wind, and withdraw its policy of preventing the use of existing Irish offshore wind resource to meet 2020 and 2030 targets, of which nearly 3000MW is immediately ready for construction.

A spokesman said Ireland’s substantial offshore wind resources have been identified by government as a “major asset for export”.

“In its submission to Government, NOW Ireland has highlighted that failure to achieve the 2020 targets for renewable energy generation would lead to a bar on Irish renewable energy generators exporting power under existing European Union rules,” he said. “This would directly clash with the EU objectives of Energy Union and Europe’s maximisation of its renewable energy resources, while costing the state many hundreds of millions of euro in revenue.”

NOW Ireland secretary general, Brian Britton added: “Successive governments have placed all their eggs in the basket of onshore wind. Other technologies, such as offshore wind, have been pushed towards the export route to market. If the Government’s narrow focus fails to deliver, Ireland will face significant fines and the offshore wind industry, which could deliver the entire renewable energy shortfall for Ireland, will be locked out of the export market as well as the home market.”

Image: Ireland's Arklow Bank wind park (NREL)

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