Enterprise Ireland launches network to support offshore wind industry

8 Jun 2022

Image: © Voyagerix/Stock.adobe.com

The Gael Offshore Network has more than 65 member companies and was formally launched at Enterprise Ireland’s Offshore Wind Forum event today.

Enterprise Ireland has today (8 June) announced the formal launch of a new network, designed to bring together companies and grow the expertise in Ireland’s offshore wind sector.

The Gael Offshore Network is made up of more than 65 member companies which have expertise in areas such as civil and marine engineering, geotechnical and geophysical capability, materials handling, environmental surveys and data collection.

Enterprise Ireland said the network has been launched in recognition of the economic opportunities available to Irish companies in the offshore wind sector, as well as the climate imperative to shift to renewable energy.

“There are significant growth opportunities for Irish companies in the offshore wind space,” Enterprise Ireland CEO Leo Clancy said. “Irish companies have the innovative products and services to access the major opportunity that is evident in the UK but also at home in Ireland and further afield.”

The network was formally launched at Enterprise Ireland’s second Offshore Wind Forum event. The two-day event has more than 200 attendees from the Irish and UK offshore wind sectors. The event gives Irish companies the opportunity to meet with international developers including Orsted, SSE Renewables, ESB and RWE.

Enterprise Ireland said Gael Offshore Network member companies have already secured several high-value contracts in the UK and other markets globally.

“The knowledge sharing and networking with global industry representatives at events such as this will help Irish companies to tap into current and future opportunities,” Clancy said.

The second day of the Offshore Wind Forum will focus on the Irish market with a keynote from Wind Energy Ireland, the representative group for the Irish wind energy industry. In April, Wind Energy Ireland called on the Government to take increased measures to help develop Ireland’s offshore windfarms.

“Ireland has some of the best wind energy resources in the world,” Wind Energy Ireland CEO  Noel Cunniffe said at a conference in April. “The sooner we can build the new windfarms, on and offshore, the sooner we will not only decarbonise this country but be able to export clean power to help cut carbon emissions across Europe.”

Ireland has set a goal to generate 5GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, in a move that could more than double the country’s current onshore and offshore wind power capacity.

But some in the industry have called on the Government to increase its 2030 wind ambitions. SSE Renewables director of development Maria Ryan told the Government earlier this year that it “shouldn’t settle for 5GW by the end of the decade”.

In March, Cork Chamber CEO Conor Healy made a plea for Ireland to capitalise on the economic opportunity that offshore wind energy poses for the country.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic