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Offshore wind strategy aims to create 5,000 jobs

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The Government has launched Ireland’s first ever offshore wind industrial strategy aimed at achieving the goal of having 37GW of offshore renewable energy capacity by 2050.

Containing 40 actions which have to be implemented, the document aims to maximise the industrial development opportunity arising from the shift to offshore wind production.

“Ireland’s marine territory is approximately 10 times the size of its land area, with some 450,000 square kilometres of this territory falling into our Exclusive Economic Zone, and Powering Prosperity will harness the economic potential that this represents,” said Minister for Enterprise, Simon Coveney, who launched the document.

“Ireland can make a real impact in the offshore renewable energy space – and there is a particular opportunity to establish Ireland as a world leader in floating offshore wind energy.”

The strategy lays out a vision for how the country will build a new offshore wind sector over the next six years.

Initially, over the first two years, it envisages actions will take place under four pillars.

These include building capacity and capability in the offshore wind supply chains, as well as cultivating research, development and innovation in the sector.

The other pillars include ensuring offshore wind energy opportunities are balanced across all regions in the country.

The strategy also aims to develop new Green Energy Industrial Parks, which can attract foreign direct investment, establish new indigenous green businesses and serve as test beds for green technological innovation.

Among the specific measures envisaged under the strategy are an Offshore Wind Centre of Excellence, and a new Floating Offshore Wind Demonstrator.

“The Strategy presents an exciting vision for the future, with ambitious and concrete policy proposals,” the minister said.

“We will focus initially on tangible actions to be delivered in the immediate term, 2024 and 2025.”

“We aim to make substantial progress on building capacity and capability in the offshore wind energy supply chain in Ireland and raising the international profile of our companies in that sector.”

It is hoped that up to 5,000 jobs will be delivered through the offshore wind sector and related industries.

The launch of the strategy was welcomed by Wind Energy Ireland.

“Offshore wind farms will cut our carbon emissions and make Ireland energy independent,” said Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland.

“But they also represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for this country. Achieving Ireland’s 2050 offshore wind energy targets could be worth at least €38 billion to the Irish economy and today’s strategy puts renewable energy at the heart of Ireland’s economic future.”

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