Republic of Ireland pledges to increase offshore wind power in ‘peace project'
Ireland has pledged to increase its offshore wind power following an agreement with other EU energy ministers from coastal states.
In a joint declaration of the North Seas Energy Cooperation group, environment minister Eamon Ryan confirmed that they will aim to install offshore wind turbines to generate 73 gigawatts by 2030 and at least 260GW of offshore wind energy by 2050.
The group, which includes Ireland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, aims to promote offshore wind energy and develop offshore grids.
It aims to make offshore wind energy one of the major sources of power within Europe.
The agreement reached represents more than 85% of the EU-wide target of 300GW for 2050.
Mr Ryan described it as a “very significant project” for the future of our energies.
“The North Seas Energy Cooperation is critical to the development of our offshore wind resources.
“What we did, nine ministers coming together, is making sure that actually we do this in a collective organised properly structured way.
“We set out new levels of ambition, 73 gigawatts of offshore wind to be developed among our countries by 2030, 300 megawatts by 2050.
“It’s central to meeting our climate targets. It’s a huge industrial development opportunity for each of our countries and for Europe and it’s critical for meeting our energy security.
“This project is the response to the war on energy that has been started by the Russian government. It’s our opportunity to switch to our own resources, to protect our people having a secure supply, lower cost, cleaner power.
“The declaration today is a declaration of real intent. We are going offshore, we’re going on scale and speed to develop our own power, a new industrial revolution.
“It’s also the peace project of our time. It switches away from gas, at this time when it’s been used as a weapon of war. It switches to power that we can rely on that we have in Ireland and particularly at scale.”
Mr Ryan added: “If we deliver some of those 300 gigawatts, it’s roughly 10% of European energy supply and that’s not insignificant.
“When you start matching that with solar from the south, hydro from the Alps and from Scandinavia, we still match that with energy efficiency, you start to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels. It’s is one of the big scale renewable projects which we have to hand.”
Rob Jetten, the energy minister for the Netherlands, said it was a a “peace project” of our time.
“We’ve been faced by these Russian aggression. It’s a true wake up call that we’ve been over dependent on fossil fuels and we’ve been over dependent on imports of cheap energy from Russia.
“The North Sea is actually the region to become the energy power hub for the whole European Union.
“Some 85% of our winds ambition from the EU can be realised here in this region. The work of the Irish presidency has been crucial to take important steps for the upcoming years.
“It’s crucial that we work together with the UK if we want to be as much as energy independent as we can be.”