Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar
Gnáthamharc

Electricity Generation.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 30 June 2005

Thursday, 30 June 2005

Ceisteanna (295, 296)

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

280 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if his Department has made a study of the most suitable areas for wave or tidal generated electricity in this country; if so, the areas which were most suitable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23686/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources)

The technologies to harness wave and tidal energies to produce electricity are at an early stage of research globally. An extensive research and development programme must be successful before this significant potential resource can be efficiently harnessed and the most suitable sites identified. Ireland participates in the International Energy Agency's research and development implementing agreement on ocean energy to monitor and benefit from worldwide expertise. In addition, at the national level, Sustainable Energy Ireland, SEI, and the Marine Institute have jointly commenced a research and development programme to identify the potential of wave and tidal energy in Ireland and also to assist industry to investigate prototype devices.

Research projects under way include Tidal and Marine Current Energy Resource in Ireland, a study on the potential economic benefits from the development of ocean energy in Ireland and a study to establish the total, feasible, practical Irish offshore wave energy resource. Other research supported by SEI and the Marine Institute in recent years include Marine Institute — Development and Evaluation Protocol for Ireland in 2004, the Hydam Technology Limited design study support to finalise the mathematical model of the MWP in 2004, University College Dublin's tidal energy feasibility study in 2004, the ESBI's Inshore Atlantic Wave Regime: County Clare in 2003, Ocean Energy's B2D2 wave energy pilot plant in 2003 and Wavebob Limited's The Wavebob in 2004. It is anticipated that reports of these studies will be published in due course. I will continue to monitor progress to ensure that as the technologies develop, we are well placed to harness the significant wave and tidal resources.

Paul Kehoe

Ceist:

281 Mr. Kehoe asked the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources if his Department has made a study of the most suitable areas for wind generated electricity in this country; if so, the areas which were most suitable; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [23687/05]

Amharc ar fhreagra

The most suitable locations for wind farms are those sites that can secure planning permission or a foreshore lease and licence in the case of offshore projects, have suitable wind speeds and can access the electricity network. Sustainable Energy Ireland, SEI, has published a digital map of our onshore and offshore wind resource. The wind atlas is available on DVD-ROM from the Renewable Energy Information Office, Bandon, County Cork and a lower resolution version is accessible on the SEI website at www.sei.ie. These resources allow any interested party to identify suitable wind energy resources at heights of 50, 75 and 100 metres at any location.

In addition, the draft wind farm planning guidelines published by the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government in 2004 propose that areas suitable for the development of wind farms should be identified within each county development plan and will be published in final form shortly. As county development plans identify suitable sites, these can be cross-referenced to the wind resource map. It will then be possible to target infrastructure upgrades on the electricity networks at identified locations to maximise the contribution of wind energy to the electricity mix at least additional cost to consumers.

Barr
Roinn