Government plans industrial strategy for offshore wind energy

9 May 2023

Image: © Photocreo Bednarek/

One industry group welcomed plans for a new industrial strategy but said ‘genuine’ engagement so far is ‘up for debate’.

The Government is planning to develop a national strategy around how Ireland can maximise the economic opportunity presented by offshore wind and meet its renewable energy targets.

Currently, Ireland’s offshore wind energy programme has a target to deliver 7GW of offshore wind energy by the end of the decade. This is set to rise more than fivefold to 37GW by 2050.

Overall, the Government wants 80pc of Ireland’s electricity to be derived from renewable sources by 2030.

Announced today (9 May) by Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Simon Coveney, TD, the plan to establish a national industrial strategy will be drafted in consultation with relevant Government departments, agencies and industry.

Coveney said that recent geopolitical events and their impact on the European energy market have accelerated the Government’s ambition to decarbonise Ireland and added a “real urgency” to transitioning to clean, renewable energy.

“Ireland has an internationally-recognised significant offshore wind resource which we are now beginning to develop,” he said.

“It is essential to ensure that our enterprise sector is ready to contribute to the delivery of offshore wind, while also maximising the economic benefit which will arise from the availability of abundant clean, renewable energy.”

The national strategy for offshore wind is expected to be published in less than a year’s time and will aim to ensure Ireland can capture the value of both the supply chain to deliver an offshore wind energy sector at scale as well as the routes to market for this renewable energy.

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, TD, said that developing an offshore wind sector requires a “whole-of-economy mobilisation”.

“An industrial strategy will provide a clear signal to international markets that across Government, and indeed across Ireland; we are serious about this opportunity,” he said.

“Another strong signal will be sent later this week when the results of ORESS 1, our first offshore wind auction, are announced. This will provide a route to market for the first offshore wind projects, a record amount of renewables, at a highly competitive price.”

More engagement with industry needed

Industry representatives have welcomed the move and stressed the importance of collaboration.

Paul Doherty, executive vice-president of the Venterra Group founder of Gavin and Doherty Geosolutions, said that the plan to draft a national strategy around offshore wind energy is “a big step forward” for the sector.

“While we welcome the news that the government may soon sign off on a draft, we also take this opportunity to call on the government to immediately commence much closer engagement with industry to help deliver this significant economic potential for Ireland,” he said.

“It is a year since Minister Ryan announced details of the establishment of a number of cross-government/agency delivery taskforces, to accelerate and drive delivery in key programme areas including offshore wind.

“Up until now, the levels of real and genuine industry engagement are up for debate.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic