UL CRIS team took part in the first Irish Wind Energy Trade Show (11-12th October, Dublin)
Ireland has the project pipeline and the determination to become a force in offshore renewables. A pivotal moment occurred in May 2023 when Ireland successfully conducted its inaugural offshore wind auction, awarding four projects with a total capacity of 3GW. This achievement marks a breakthrough for Ireland’s renewable energy sector, playing a vital role in realizing the objectives outlined in the country’s 2030 Climate Action Plan.
The auction stands as a crucial milestone in the expansion of Ireland’s offshore wind capabilities, considering the current presence of only a modest 25MW offshore wind farm. Moreover, it is instrumental in fulfilling Ireland’s 2030 Climate Action Plan, which aims for 5GW of installed offshore wind capacity and an additional 2GW of floating wind capacity under development by 2030. This aligns with the government’s ambitious target of sourcing 80% of electricity from renewables by the same year. Looking further ahead, Ireland envisions reaching at least 37GW of offshore wind capacity by 2050.
To support these aspirations, Ireland is also actively developing a National Industrial Strategy for Offshore Wind, set to be published in the first quarter of 2024. This strategy seeks to establish a robust supply chain necessary for realizing Ireland’s offshore wind goals while maximizing the long-term economic and societal benefits. However, challenges such as resource limitations in the National Parks & Wildlife Service and delays in setting up the Maritime Area Regulatory Authority are recognized as critical concerns.
These dynamic developments and challenges present unique opportunities for Irish research in the offshore wind energy sector. In line with the ongoing activities in the Irish offshore wind sector, the Wind Energy Trade Show 2023 emerged as an exciting new event. This trade show brought together Ireland’s growing domestic supply chain, key players in the global wind energy industry, and cutting-edge research from Ireland and abroad. It served as a platform to showcase the potential for new entrants in the Irish market and introduced Irish stakeholders to the world. It facilitated discussions among major global players and industry leaders, shaping a vision for Ireland’s energy future alongside a rapidly expanding network of local and European suppliers eager to invest in the Irish energy sector.
The UL CRIS team was delighted to participate in the event as an exhibitor and a contributor to the Research and Innovation talks. Dr Edin Omerdic delivered a presentation highlighting CRIS capabilities and research focused on offshore wind infrastructure observation and operations. Attendees were provided with valuable insights into the most recent testing within the ongoing SEAI funded project “Robots for Wind Farms,” and EU funded RESURGAM project. Notably, a significant number of industry stakeholders expressed keen interest in our technology and capabilities. The CRIS UL team is looking forward to playing an active role in Ireland’s future plans for offshore wind sector.