Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Questions (523)

John Deasy

Question:

523. Deputy John Deasy asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the regulations governing the planning and construction of offshore wind farms and site testing within Irish waters. [41733/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

The Climate Action Plan includes, inter alia, a suite of actions to decarbonise the electricity sector and boost the quantity of renewable generation in order to meet our target of 70% of demand from renewable sources by 2030; the Plan commits to connecting at least 3.5GW of Offshore Wind by 2030.

Currently, only offshore renewable energy projects within the limits of the foreshore (12 nautical miles) may be licensed under the Foreshore Act 1933, as amended. The relevant provisions of the Foreshore Act are administered by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

The Marine Planning and Development Management Bill aims to address both current deficiencies in the foreshore regime and the legal lacunae in regard to the State’s inability to regulate certain activities such as offshore renewable energy in areas beyond the foreshore. The Bill, which is one element of an overall reform of marine planning policy, is being developed by the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, working closely with my Department insofar as offshore renewable energy is concerned. The Climate Action Plan commits to publishing this Bill by the end of this year.