Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Questions (105, 120)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

105. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which the offshore wind energy sector is progressing to meet its targets within the next ten years with particular reference to the progress to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1885/21]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

120. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the degree to which wave and offshore wind electricity generation is being pursued as an alternative to reliance on fossil fuels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1901/21]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 105 and 120 together.

The development of offshore renewable energy in our marine area will contribute towards the achievement of our 2030 and 2050 climate goals, while also having the potential to establish a valuable export market with tangible benefits to local marine users, neighbouring coastal communities and Irish companies.

The Programme for government commits to producing a plan setting out a path to achieve 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030. This plan will focus on utilising our existing energy and maritime infrastructure and will seek to create the right investment environment, while also supporting ocean energy research where necessary in the areas of floating wind, tidal, and wave power. Realising the potential of our offshore resources requires significant work to develop the legal, regulatory and economic regime. The Programme for Government commits to taking the following steps in this regard: Holding the first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) auction for offshore wind this year;• Giving cross-government priority to the drafting of the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill;• Producing a whole-of-government plan setting out how we will deliver at least 70% renewable electricity by 2030 and how we will develop the necessary skills base, supply chains, legislation, and infrastructure to enable it.

In addition, the preparation and publication of a second Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP 2), is planned by my Department to account for technology developments, new environmental requirements and policy developments since the original plan was published in 2014.This will include updating the assessment of the potential for wind and wave energy in the offshore area.

Questions Nos. 106 and 107 answered with Question No. 104.