Coastwatch has developed a 5 point Coastwatch Offshore Wind Energy Policy Position summarised below. This is our broad position to cover the current government and industry activities to have 5GW of OWE connected to the Irish grid by 2030. It is an open document subject to revision as this is a rapidly development field.
‘We see this period as a critical research and demonstration phase where, with all hands on deck, top monitoring and full transparency, offshore wind and biodiversity goals could be achieved.’ said Karin Dubsky, Coastwatch Coordinator.
But she added: ‘achieving that offshore energy target in our most biodiverse, highest blue carbon inshore waters without adequate precaution, nature protection or monitoring is reckless.’
Coastwatch supports EU climate action policy and acknowledges that Offshore Wind Energy (OWE) has huge potential for Ireland.
‘We recognise that our archaic marine planning system is finally being reformed. However, as more and more industry-led exploration and plans are being rolled out in our commons ahead of finalising essential reforms and with virtually no monitoring of sea exploration impacts and virtually no protection for our biodiverse blue carbon stocks, we are becoming increasingly concerned’ said Bernie Connolly, Regional Coordinator for Cork.
‘These marine technologies have themselves a significant carbon footprint. Rapid growth has environmental and societal impacts we must acknowledge and better control’ added Roslyn Shaw Reg Coord for Dun Laoghaire.