Irish offshore power could make country renewables giant
Ireland could start producing more than ten times its current power demand from its seas and coastline according to a new report.
The blueprint, laid out by energy minister Eamon Ryan, also claims the extra power could be generated without any adverse effects on the environment.
If true the plan could see Ireland become a huge source of power to the United Kingdom and other European countries by selling the excess power.
While the extra power would also safeguard Ireland's own long-term power needs against the end of fossil fuels.
Mr Ryan was speaking at the launch of the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan, which is now out for public consultation.
This Plan, in conjunction with the Strategic Environmental Assessment of Irish Waters also published last Friday (November 5), looks at offshore wind, wave and tidal energy resources and how that could be maximised in the years ahead.
Announcing the plan at the Irish International Energy Conference - Pathway to 2050, Minister Ryan said: "This Government has begun an energy revolution. We have doubled the amount of renewable energy on our system and we want to go further.
"Every megawatt of renewable energy that goes onto the Irish national grid reduces our Euro 6 billion annual fossil fuel bill, reduces our carbon emissions and creates Irish jobs.
"Today's study shows that we have a massive potential for renewable energy off our shores. Wind, wave and tidal off the Irish coast can produce 10 times our own electricity needs without adversely affecting the environment.
"My Department is working to maximise this potential. Our recovery will be based on exports.
"Our capacity to produce this green electricity gives us major export potential.
"We are working with Scotland and Northern Ireland on the ISLES project to develop interconnection with these close neighbours.
"Working is advancing with nine countries across Europe on the North Seas initiative to develop a 'supergrid' to trade this renewable power."
The plan goes to public consultation around the country for two months where developers, investors and local communities can give their views.
The full report can be viewed here.