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A new report by Wind Energy Ireland reveals there are not enough Irish ports to deliver offshore wind energy target.

Only a single port on the island of Ireland, Belfast Harbour, is ready to be used to construct offshore wind farms according to a new National Ports Study published today by Wind Energy Ireland at its Annual Offshore Wind Energy Conference in Dublin.

The report, produced by Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions, is the most detailed analysis ever carried out of the readiness of Irish ports for the development of offshore renewable energy. It includes a thorough analysis of the existing infrastructure available at 13 ports and harbours on the island of Ireland and their plans for expansion to meet the needs of offshore wind.

The ports and harbours examined in the report were, in alphabetical order, Belfast D1, Belfast Harland & Wolff, Bremore, Cork Dockyard, Foynes Island, Galway, Killybegs, Larne, Moneypoint, Port of Cork (Ringaskiddy), Ros an Mhíl, Rosslare Europort and Shannon-Foynes.

Speaking on the report launch, Director of RenewableNI, Steven Agnew said:

“Earlier this month RenewableNI launched The Clean Revolution, our report on building the Northern Ireland offshore wind industry.

“The report set out how the industry and government can work together to achieve 1.5 GW of electricity by 2032.  That is enough clean electricity annually to power 1.6 million homes.  This results in a GVA of £2.4 billion and 1,500 new jobs in peak construction years with a total of 32,400 FTE years across the life of the projects.

“While NI is in a great position to benefit from Belfast Harbour, additional port resources here will boost the economic impact of the region.”

Sarah Gibson, Principal Engineer with Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions, the report’s lead author, said:

“Our ports have the ambition, the determination and the imagination to provide first-class infrastructure for the construction of offshore renewable energy projects.

“Ports and developers both want this to happen.  Ireland can be a base from which to build a generation of fixed-bottom and floating wind energy projects, creating thousands of jobs and ensuring that investment stays in Ireland.

“But it won’t just happen by itself.  It will need Government, ports and renewable energy developers working together to make this ambition a reality.”

The report was funded by several companies, including RenewableNI members: Belfast Harbour, DP Energy, ESB, Ørsted, and RWE.

You can read The Clean Revolution – Building Northern Ireland’s Offshore Wind Industry here.

You can read National Ports Study here.

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