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For Oral Answer on : 01/02/2024
Question Number(s): 58 Question Reference(s): 3350/24
Department: Transport
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
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QUESTION


To ask the Minister for Transport if the OWDT has been issued with the Minimum Irish Port Capacity Report; if so, to outline the main findings of the report and actions arising as a result; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

REPLY


I am committed to facilitating the Commercial Irish State ports under my remit as positive contributors to the offshore renewable energy industry to support Ireland to meet its ambitious targets of 5GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030, with a further 2GW in development for the production of green hydrogen and other non-grid uses. Supporting the development of port infrastructure is a core objective of the National Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce and my Department is working very closely with the Taskforce in this regard.

One of my Department’s actions under Workstream 6 of the National Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce was to assess the minimum ports capacity required for offshore renewable energy projects in Irish ports. To fulfil this key action officials in my Department engaged the Irish Maritime Development Office (IMDO) to prepare the “Minimum capacity required for offshore renewable energy projects in Irish ports” report.

This report provides an assessment of the capacity and infrastructure required in Irish ports to meet the government’s target of 7GW of offshore renewable energy (ORE) by 2030 and the longer-term ambition to deliver 30GW over a 20-year timeframe between 2030 and 2050. The findings of this report will be a key input to determining at a strategic level whether port plans satisfy the requirements of the Government’s ORE Policy objectives.  

The report notes that progress toward developing offshore renewable energy projects will be impeded unless significant development takes place in at least three ports on the island of Ireland, with dedicated ORE port capacity becoming available for turbine deployment by mid-2026, at the latest. The report further notes that Irish ports significantly reduce the cost deployment of ORE infrastructure, due to their geographical proximity to installation sites. Finally, the report recommends that given the potential development opportunity, every effort should be made in bringing ports and the ORE industry together so that national climate change ambitions and renewable energy targets can be achieved.

I can confirm that the finalised IMDO report on the minimum port capacity required for offshore renewable energy projects in Irish ports has been circulated to the members of the National Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce.