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Route to market for offshore wind in Ireland

Last update: 2022-01-19

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There is an urgent need for a detailed design on how offshore wind can reach its route to the market. One of the main issues raised here is the licensing regime. This should be amended so that offshore wind plants can receive consent more easily. To date, there have only been 25 MW of offshore capacity deployed, while 3,000 MW are expected in the immediate future. There is a case, however, where offshore wind farms on the east side of the Republic of Ireland have received consent, but these are still waiting in limbo for their realisation. The simplification and acceleration of the licensing procedure for offshore wind farms are crucial for the future of this technology in the country. 

The updated NECP foresees 3.5 GW of offshore wind until 2030. Offshore wind is currently considered a lost opportunity, as the first offshore wind in Europe (25 MW) was installed in Ireland in 2004. Apart from that, the rest of the offshore wind projects could not progress due to the consenting regime, as it lacked the necessary piece of legislation that would have foreseen the marine consent. The government is preparing a Marine Planning and Development Management (MPDM) Bill that incorporates a forward planning model, with measures taking into consideration the objectives of the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF). The NMPF provides the spatial and policy context for decisions in Ireland's maritime area. The MPDM Bill was originally expected to be introduced by the end of 2020. Finally, the MPDM Bill, renamed as Maritime Area Planning (MAP) Bill was approved in December 2021. In addition, the publication of the final terms and conditions of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) for offshore wind is expected by Q2 2022. However, no clarity is provided on further auction timelines or steps. 

The NECP has already shown a roadmap for offshore wind energy, but the delays have a serious impact on investment decisions and supply chains will struggle. Timelines for consenting guidelines should be imposed quickly, otherwise, 10-12 years will be needed for the realisation of offshore wind projects and this will have an impact on the national 2030 targets.

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Competent authorities

For Route to market for offshore wind

Authority (Original name) Authority (English) Link
Department of Communications, Climate Action and EnvironmentDepartment of Communications, Climate Action and EnvironmentVisit


Legal Sources

For Route to market for offshore wind

Source (original name) Source (english name) Link
Ireland's National Energy & Climate Plan 2021-2030Ireland's National Energy & Climate Plan 2021-2030Visit

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