Fianna Fáil Senator for Clare Timmy Dooley has said the West of Ireland must not lose out in offshore wind development amidst reports that the High-Level Offshore Wind Phase 2 Policy Statement due imminently will discriminate against the West of Ireland by giving priority to projects in the East and South of the country.
Viable floating offshore wind projects off the West coast will not be permitted to apply for maritime area consents until a later stage of phase 2, with projects off the East and South coasts of the country being prioritised.
Senator Dooley said, “If this decision goes ahead it would be a disaster for offshore wind energy on the West coast of Ireland. There is huge interest from investors in offshore wind projects off the West and we must not miss this opportunity.
“This decision, if taken, will send a message that offshore wind development is off limits in the West of Ireland. We have a huge opportunity now to develop and invest in offshore wind energy in Ireland. No region should be given preference over another and we need to be ambitious in developing offshore wind all around the coast of Ireland. I’m regularly speaking with and hearing from developers and investors in the area and we must harness that expertise and potential to drive this industry forward in the West of Ireland. We have a real chance of becoming a world leader in this space and we can’t afford to lack ambition.”