ESB welcomes OREDP as opportunity for offshore renewables

Offshore Renewable Energy Plan will support Irish ocean energy development

David Baker
by David Baker on 11th February, 2014

The Irish Government’s new plan for offshore renewables has been welcomed by the ESB. The plan is designed to aid ocean energy projects in the country.

The Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) aims to offer support to the initial stages of development regarding ocean energy.

An extensive assessment of the possibilities of this form of energy estimates that a minimum of 1,500MW can be generated via this renewable resource, without there being any major negative impact on the environment.

The new plan was published by Pat Rabbite TD, Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

Head of Innovation at ESB, John McSweeney, was confident that the OREDP would boost investor confidence, which, in turn, would result in funding.

This financial support would help Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) at the beginning of projects, which Mr. McSweeney believes is vital.

Mr. McSweeney said that there was the “potential, in time” to utilise Ireland’s oceans so effectively that “large quantities” of renewable energy could be produced. Mr. McSweeney added that wave energy can help Ireland lessen its dependence on having to import fossil fuels. Consequently, this type of energy can be a boost to jobs and assist economic growth.

Along with RD&D monetary support, ocean energy development is being helped by market support tariffs. Northern Ireland and Scotland will also be involved in Ireland’s collaborative approach concerning this renewable energy. The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources will head a steering committee, which will be responsible for seeing that the plan is properly implemented.

The energy company, ESB, is already working on its WestWave project, which Mr. McSweeney said may offer collaborative opportunities with both Northern Ireland and Scotland. Mr. McSweeney was also keen on his company exploring these possibilities via the steering committee.

The generation of 5MW of clean energy is the aim of the WestWave project, which will be installed on Ireland’s west coast with the help of experts in the field and the Irish Government.

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