Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications
Ireland is a key emerging market in the offshore renewable wind energy space. With a sea area seven times that of our land area, the opportunities this presents in terms of wind power cannot be overstated.
The development of future offshore wind projects could offer huge economic and community benefits to many towns and villages along our coasts. Maximising renewable wind energy is a significant priority for this Government. We have been accelerating policy in this area to ensure we are in the best possible position to meet the opportunities ahead.
Promising offshore wind energy in Ireland
The success of our first offshore wind auction earlier this year highlighted Ireland’s enormous potential in this space. The auction results surpassed expectations, both in terms of the total volume of renewable energy procured and the low price at which it has been secured.
The hugely competitive price secured — at an average of €86.05/MWh (megawatt hour) — is one of the lowest prices paid by an emerging offshore wind market in the world. This price will save Irish electricity consumers hundreds of millions of euros per year. Our second offshore wind auction is set to launch at the end of 2023 or early 2024.
Increasing the share of renewable energy —
with offshore wind at the heart of this
ambition — is a critical element.
Logistics of offshore wind energy development
To responsibly increase the pace of delivery of our ocean energy potential, we are implementing a Government-wide delivery plan. It will follow a plan-led and State-directed approach. This means we will not only be well-positioned to meet our ambitions, but it will also provide greater certainty for all maritime users as to where offshore wind energy development will be situated — minimising environmental impacts.
How offshore wind can help Ireland reach net zero
From a climate perspective, the world is in a race to keep the global average temperature rise to within 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. This summer, we are seeing many parts of southern Europe facing an oppressive heatwave, which has been fuelled by our carbon emissions. We must take concerted action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming.
Ireland’s statutory climate objective is a 51% reduction in emissions by 2030 and net zero emissions no later than 2050. Increasing the share of renewable energy — with offshore wind at the heart of this ambition — is a critical element. The Irish public understands the benefits of renewable energy, and we are doing all we can to rapidly progress the switch from fossil fuels to renewables and clean power.