The development of offshore wind energy in Europe will be the largest capital building programme in the history of the European Union, according to Eimear Cahalin of Mainstream Renewable Power.
Cahalin was speaking recently at a supply chain conference held jointly by the National Offshore Wind (NOW) Association of Ireland and Enterprise Ireland.
The event was aimed at informing Irish construction and service companies about the economic opportunities being provided by the development of in excess of 34GW of offshore wind in UK and Irish waters over the next 12 years – an investment in excess of €100bn.
Brian Britton, secretary of NOW Ireland, delineated the progress that the UK has made in relation to job creation through offshore development.
He spoke of how, in recent weeks, major manufacturers Iberdrola, GE and Mitsubishi, Clipper Windpower and Multibrid had announced their intention to locate substantial operations in the UK.
Speakers at the conference identified the opportunity for Ireland to become a leading European manufacturer of cabling to connect the wind farms to the grid.
Aiden Cawley of Siemens indicated that one UK wind farm, Dogger Bank, would potentially require more than an entire year’s global output of cable.
He said Ireland also provided substantial opportunities for cable manufacturers if planned projects were given the green light.
By Carmel Doyle
Photo: Pictured at the offshore wind supply chain conference in the Alexander Hotel was Brian Britton, managing director, NOW Ireland; Marina Donohoe, Enterprise Ireland, and Mick McBennett, chairman, NOW Ireland
Photo by Jason Clarke
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