The Wind Energy Ireland (WEI) Offshore Wind 2023 conference was held one week after the results of Ireland’s first offshore wind auction. This created buzz and excitement for Ireland’s future to harness the abundant natural wind resource in Ireland’s coastal waters.
The conference provided a great context on the challenges to achieving Irish government targets of 37 GW of offshore wind by 2050. The key themes were centered around:
- The role of government: It was encouraging to see a high level of Irish government participation and presence at the conference and to understand the steps the Irish government departments are taking with a plan-led approach to enable Irish offshore wind generation.
- Supply chains: Renewables and offshore/onshore development is driving worldwide ever-increasing demand for supply chains. The conference touched on how Ireland will be competing at a country level for supply chains and that project pipeline certainty will be key to attracting supply chains to Ireland.
- Project funding: Ireland’s offshore projects will likely be funded by different means during the project lifecycle. Project pipeline certainty was again a key item that will encourage investment.
- Collaboration: While there was not much acknowledgment at the conference that Ireland is late to the offshore wind party, a key theme that kept coming through from speakers’ presentations was the need to collaborate across industry/government/countries and to not re-invent the wheel in order to accelerate development and meet GW targets.
The conference was a great opportunity to understand the offshore wind industry in an Irish context. It’s still early days, but there is excitement about the industry/sector, especially toward the four successful projects from the first offshore wind auction. PSC is excited to keep track of developments, understand the role of EirGrid in offshore wind, and play a part in Ireland’s Offshore wind journey toward delivering its 2030 Climate Action Plan.