My Department published in 2014 the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP), 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 2018 and is available on my Department’s website: www.dccae.gov.ie. 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.
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government is preparing the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill 2019, which will introduce a new marine planning regime. My Department is assisting in the development of this Bill. The Bill will include a new, streamlined consenting regime for offshore renewable energy.
One of the actions in the All-of-Government Climate Action Plan which I have recently launched includes establishing a Top team in offshore renewables to provide a multi-organisational response to leveraging the industrial/employment opportunities arising from the operationalisation of the offshore energy policy framework under the Marine Planning and Development Management legislation. The team has yet to be established.
The All-of-Government Climate Action Plan sets out how Ireland will be stepping up ambition in the renewable electricity sector with a target of 70% of our electricity to be generated from renewable sources by 2030. This will require significant changes to the operation and management of the electricity grid, to integrate wind and solar energy at scale. Indicative targets set out in the Climate Plan for non-fossil fuel technologies are at least 3.5 GW of offshore renewable energy.