Acceleration in delivery of offshore renewables and green hydrogen needed – Darren O’Rourke TD
Sinn Féin spokesperson on Climate, Communications and Transport Darren O’Rourke TD has called on the government to accelerate the delivery of offshore wind and green hydrogen facilities.
Teachta O'Rourke said this would ensure Ireland can have a "stable and sustainable energy supply in the years ahead".
The Meath East TD said:
“The scale of our offshore wind potential is envied across Europe, but so far the state has failed to harness it.
“It is an indictment of successive governments that we currently have just one offshore wind farm in operation, commissioned nearly twenty years ago.
“It will be some years before new projects are connected to the grid due to a lack of capacity at every level here. This is totally at odds with the climate crisis and worsening energy crunch.
"The dreadful conflict in Ukraine will serve to compound matters.
“Today, the Oireachtas Climate Committee heard that we have just a 50/50 chance of meeting our 2030 target of 5GW of offshore wind.
“Sectoral stakeholders pointed to a range of challenges and delays in terms of planning, regulations, grid capacity, skills capacity and supply chain. This is not good enough.
“The ESB, for example, said Ireland needs a ring-fenced auction for 1GW of floating offshore wind in order to begin to harness the potential of the seas off our southern and western coasts and to meet our 2030 target. Government has noplans for floating offshore until after 2030.
“It is very clear that we need additional, dedicated resources to realise the potential of offshore wind and green hydrogen. The Oireachtas Committee heard that loud and clear today. Government should do likewise.
"Given the economic opportunity of offshore wind and green hydrogen, these additional resources will pay for themselves many times over. It is essential that robust systems be put in place to process the pipeline of projects thoroughly and without unnecessary delay.
“Similarly, green hydrogen and battery storage facilities should be prioritised to ensure we have a secure supply of energy when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine.
“Finally, following the example of Denmark and Germany with turbines, we need to build the skills base and supply chain industry capacity here in order to capture as many jobs and benefits for the island as possible.
“Again, a lack of preparation by Government in this regard is costing us. It will cost us even more dearly in the future if they fail to respond with appropriate focus and haste.”