I propose to take Questions Nos. 144 and 145 together.
The Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan highlight the key role that offshore renewable energy will play in achieving Ireland’s increased energy and climate ambition and include the objective of achieving
5GW of offshore wind by 2030. The Programme for Government further commits to developing a longer-term plan to take advantage of up to 30GW of offshore floating wind power in our deeper Atlantic waters, which would enable Ireland to become a major regional generator and exporter of offshore renewable energy.
To facilitate this overarching ambition, my Department will continue to support development of regional offshore electricity grids and engagement with viable proposed new offshore infrastructure projects, including electricity interconnectors. It is also important to highlight the technical market and infrastructure discussions focused on the establishment of European offshore grids that are taking place in working groups within the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC), of which Ireland holds the rotating Presidency during 2022.
The importance of establishing European offshore grids has also been the focus of recent discussions I have held with my EU and UK Ministerial counterparts, and is an issue I will continue to promote during future bilateral and Council meetings.