Ireland continues on the path towards energy independence
The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, believes there are many existing opportunities for developers to advance offshore wind plans and to continue moving closer toward energy independence in Ireland.
Minister Ryan recently announced the new Maritime Area Consent (MAC) measures. The plans will enable the Minister to create MACs for renewable energy developers that involve meeting specific criteria. This process means the assessment for offshore wind developers will ensure only the most efficient and viable projects can apply and proceed further.
The maritime region of Ireland is approximately seven times the size of its landmass. With ideal wind conditions and a suitable location, the potential for offshore wind energy is considerable. Energy leaders believe Ireland could become one of the leading wind producers in Europe.
In a recent discussion, at the opening of the MAC application process, Minister Ryan explained that now is the time to utilise the vast offshore wind resource to develop renewable energy and ensure the security of their energy supply. The Maritime Area Planning (MAP) Act is a significant legislative reform of maritime governance, aiming for a clear and transparent marine planning system that enables effective development and management of the seas of Ireland.
Seven projects created within the previous regime could benefit from the first new MACs, due to be issued later this year. This list includes six offshore wind site applications on the east coast and another on the west. Minister Ryan explains this is a chance for Ireland to move away from fossil fuels, reduce its reliance on foreign energy sources and focus on developing a homegrown energy supply.
Minister Ryan also believes the reliance on fossil fuels is costly, insecure and fails to give Ireland a stable economy and energy future. Plans to develop offshore wind represent a considerable opportunity for Ireland and should be considered a top priority within future energy plans.
Paschal Donohoe, the Minister of finance, believes that Ireland must accelerate toward energy independence to avoid the potential implications of doing business with other foreign governments. In a recent interview, Donohoe explained that the war in Ukraine was a stark reminder that Ireland and the rest of Europe must be independent and responsible for their energy security. Donohoe highlights that Ireland needs to radically accelerate energy independence and explains how critical it is to focus on the offshore wind industry.
Donohoe points out that the journey towards energy independence can’t happen overnight, and while this process is beginning, Ireland will require oil and gas from other countries. He also explains that energy independence doesn’t necessarily mean isolating from other countries but having the capability to engage effectively with other nations when needed.