For November’s #MIINMemberSpotlight, we spoke with Yvonne Cronin, the Community and Stakeholder Liaison Manager for DP Energy's 4GW Offshore Wind Portfolio.
Introduce yourself and the organisation? What is your role? What is your focus area?
My name is Yvonne Cronin. My organisation is DP Energy Group. I am the Community and Stakeholder Liaison Manager for DP Energy’s 4 GW offshore wind portfolio. It is my job to liaise with any individual or group who can affect or can be affected by any of our offshore wind farm projects. This includes Fishermen, government officials, NGO’s, community groups, supply chain partners and anyone with an interest in any of our projects.
Tell us more about DP Energy. Where is it located? What do you do?
DP Energy is one of Ireland’s leading developers of renewable energy projects. Headquartered in Cork with our Offshore Offices in Horgan’s Quay, Cork City. DP Energy operates across the world and is committed to using the most sustainable and environmentally responsible methods possible in all of their energy developments. With a global reputation spanning over 30 years, DP Energy develops, constructs and has operated renewable energy assets worldwide. The business delivered its first wind farm project in Tyrone in 1993 and, since then, has delivered seven wind energy projects across the island of Ireland and a further four in Scotland and the UK.
Currently, DP Energy has an immediate pipeline of 7GW of wind and solar energy projects across Ireland, Australia, the UK and Canada, with 750MW due to enter construction in 2023. These projects variously incorporate both on and offshore wind, solar and ocean energy technologies.
In the offshore wind space in particular, DP Energy is actively pursuing a number of projects across Europe and Canada and has partnered with EDF Renewables for 1GW of offshore wind in the UK Celtic Sea and with Iberdrola, one of the world’s largest renewable energy producers, to deliver 3GW of offshore wind in Ireland.
Delivery of the three off-shore wind schemes in Ireland, programmed to be operational by 2030, will significantly contribute to Ireland’s Climate Action Plan target of 80% renewable electricity by 2030, 7GW of offshore wind by 2030 and ultimately to the country’s net-zero carbon target by 2050.The three Irish projects include a fixed-bottom project off the Wexford coast and two floating projects off the Cork and Clare coasts. It is a very exciting time in Ireland as offshore floating wind technology (FLOW) is now technically and commercially viable. This technology will allow DP Energy to deploy FLOW on the south coast, but especially the west coast, which has one of the best wind resources in the world.
What is your organization’s unique selling point (USP)?
Firstly, DP Energy is committed to only using the most sustainable and environmentally responsible methods and technologies possible.
Secondly, we are a family company led by Maureen De Pietro, our founder, and Simon De Pietro, our CEO. Our experienced team works very closely together which means communication within the company is fast and straightforward, allowing us to work flexibly and react quickly to industry and policy changes.
Are you developing a new product/innovation?
We develop both onshore and offshore wind farms and have solar and tidal operations.
What motivates you in your role with DP Energy?
When I graduated with a BSc. in Marine Biology and Oceanography, I took a role in Sales. While I loved meeting and chatting with people, I didn’t believe in the products I was selling. Once I attained my Master’s in Research specialising in Stakeholder Engagement in Offshore Wind, I finally found what I was looking for. I truly believe that offshore wind is a key solution to our climate change problem and our energy security situation. Now I have the expertise and the belief in what I’m selling. Being passionate about stakeholder engagement is what truly motivates me every day. My day can entail talking to fishermen, school children, being interviewed for radio or press, talking to government officials, environmental groups, supply chain companies and any other stakeholder who might have a question about our projects or our company. Every day is different, it’s never dull and that’s why I love it!
What is your vision for the marine industry in Ireland over the next 10 years?
The only way is up! We have such an incredible resource surrounding us, and I mean that in terms of Commercial Fisheries, Recreation, Tourism, Biodiversity and Offshore renewables energy. If we keep the balance, and use joined up thinking so that all sectors are brought along at the same pace, and no one industry loses out or is left behind; if we can keep the channels of communication open between the sectors and we all work together with mutual respect and understanding, I believe we can realise a nation that punches far above its weight to ensure that its population are fed, and powered, and has a wonderful place to live.
What do you see as the biggest opportunity for Ireland’s marine industry in the coming years (5-10 years)?
Without a doubt the development of Offshore wind is, in my mind, the single biggest opportunity for Ireland’s Marine industry in the coming 5-10 years. We are already world leaders in onshore wind energy supply, and I have no doubt that if we approach offshore wind in the same way we can be energy independent in 10 years’ time.
What is the biggest challenge, in your opinion, facing businesses in the marine industry in 2022?
Supply chain, supply chain, supply chain. The offshore renewable industry has huge employment potential. Training the current primary/secondary students in skills that may not be needed immediately but will definitely be in demand in 5 or 6 years’ time is essential for us to power the construction of these wind farms and subsequently to operate and maintain them. With the right training and expertise, the Irish supply chain can grasp these opportunities with both hands and benefit from this industry, similar to what we have achieved in the Pharma, Tech and Finance sectors.
What international markets are you interested in?
DP Energy have operations in UK, Australia, Canada and Ireland. We are always looking at new markets and areas into which to expand. We have many partnerships with international entities, and as such we are always looking for the next sustainable opportunity to continue our renewable operations
What’s one thing you’d like to share with the network?
The overall goal of DP Energy is to create a world that is fully powered by renewable energy and we will continue to lead from the front to make this a reality, in Ireland and worldwide.
Where can we find more information about you and DP Energy?
LinkedIn: DP Energy Group