Thursday, 4 July 2019

Questions (62)

Maureen O'Sullivan


62. Deputy Maureen O'Sullivan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the way in which he can he progress the establishment of offshore wind farms to complement the grid such as the success of onshore wind farms and other renewable forms of energy; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28335/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Ireland has some of the best offshore renewable energy resources in Europe at 900,000 square kilometres. Because of Ireland’s location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. There is enormous potential for Ireland to utilise these resources to generate carbon free renewable electricity.

The Climate Action Plan launched recently sets out the necessary policy measures to help meet our 2030 targets, cut our reliance on fossil fuels and put Ireland on a clear pathway to meeting our 2050 objectives. A key component of this will be the development of Offshore wind.

The Climate Action Plan 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, significant progress is required on the three key pillars:

- Development management process

- Grid development model

- Route to market

The enduring consenting model/development management process will fall under the aegis of the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill and the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF) as well as a revised grid connection policy to be developed by the CRU.

To support the delivery of the national ambition to further decrease our dependence on foreign fossil fuels my Department is developing a new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) which will assist Ireland in meeting its renewable energy contributions out to 2030 and will be designed to achieve its targets in a cost competitive way.

The Climate Action Plan is available on my Department’s website.

My Department published the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) in 2014 which set out policy for the sustainable development of our abundant offshore renewable energy resources. An interim review of the OREDP was published in May and is available on my Department’s website: The Offshore Renewable Energy Steering Group, which oversees the implementation of the OREDP is progressing the recommendations of the review and continuing the work of implementing the actions and enablers set out in the Plan.