Ireland has a sea area of 900,000 square kilometres, 10 times its landmass, and some of the best offshore renewable energy resources in the world. The 2014 Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) sets out the Government’s policy for the sustainable development of our abundant offshore renewable energy resources. The Strategic Environmental Assessment that underpinned the OREDP found that 4,500 MW of offshore wind and 1,500 MW of wave and tidal generation could be sustainably developed in Irish waters in the period to 2030. The OREDP can be found on my Department’s website (www.dccae.gov.ie). Work has commenced on updating the 2014 Plan. The Climate Action Plan includes a commitment to deliver at least 3.5 GW of offshore wind by 2030; the Programme for Government also commits to producing a plan setting out a path to achieve 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030.
In contrast to offshore wind, wave energy is still at the research and development stage globally. Notwithstanding the development of promising experimental devices, more research, development and trials are required to bring wave energy technology to commercial viability.
The Programme for Government commits to producing a plan setting out how we will take advantage of the massive potential of offshore energy on the Atlantic Coast. This plan will focus on utilising our existing energy and maritime infrastructure and will seek to create the right investment environment and support ocean energy research where necessary in the areas of floating wind, tidal, and wave power.