The Joint Committee on Enterprise Trade and Employment has today - Wednesday March 8th – published its report on offshore renewable energy.
The topic of offshore renewable energy was a key policy priority in the Committee’s 2022 Work programme under a zero-carbon economy with particular relevance to aspects such as job creation and the development of skills and investment in green enterprise.
The Committee reached out to stakeholders to gain diverse perspectives on Offshore Renewable Energy, the written submissions and witnesses provided the Committee with an insight into several areas where they deemed it was most important to make improvements.
Launching the report, Committee Cathaoirleach Deputy Maurice Quinlivan said: “There is significant capacity for transformation to clean, sustainable and renewable energy. In a time of climate change and energy insecurity there is an opportunity for industry and coastal communities, working together, to develop a new industrial sector supporting regional development, creating thousands of jobs, and driving sustainable growth.”
“Ireland remains committed to achieving our ambitious target of having 80% of our electricity generated from renewable resources by 2030, with 5 GW coming from offshore wind. Offshore and renewable energy is a cross departmental goal involving various Departments.”
The Committee has made a number of recommendations for these areas and a copy of this report and recommendations will be sent to the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Key recommendations include:
- The establishment of a State body to develop and engage on offshore wind energy. This State body can be further supported by the development of an offshore delivery taskforce to create and support an action plan.
- Greater focus should be given to exploring and enhancing the potential for domestic job growth in terms of research and development roles, as well as in respect of the development of technologies and equipment relating to offshore wind energy being advanced within the State.
- Further exploration of the potential measures for Offshore Renewable Energy as it relates to the production of green energy and the opportunity of both fixed and floating wind energy.
- A more integrated approach to monitoring and development of Renewable Energy and that consideration should be given to establishing a separate Government Department for Renewable Energy to better address the challenges of climate change in relation to the Offshore Renewable Energy environment.
- Active education, training and recruitment initiatives to increase the supply of essential skills in this industry.
- Local authorities should work to empower local communities. This should include supports that reward coastal communities for enhancing and hosting wind energy.
The Committee looks forward to working proactively and productively with the Minister to address the issues identified regarding the operation of the Offshore Renewable Energy and Ireland’s commitments under the Climate Action Plan.
Read the report and its recommendations in full on the Committee's webpage here.