The National Offshore Wind Association of Ireland (NOW Ireland) has welcomed the announcement of a new 40pc renewable energy target by Ministers Eamon Ryan and John Gormley in the Carbon Budget.
The association said, however, that while this figure was achievable, it was possible to hit the 40pc target only if the generating capacity available from the deployment of larger offshore wind projects is harnessed.
Irish offshore wind developers are currently planning to roll-out in excess of 3000MW of offshore wind energy within the coming years, with projects likely to come on stream from 2012.
NOW Ireland spokesperson, Arno Verbeek claimed that "the Minister's announcement was a logical follow-on from important research - such as the All Ireland Grid Study and the Indecon Report on Offshore Wind. These reports indicate that the Irish grid could accommodate a roll-out of renewable energy in excess of 40pc and that, in the case of offshore wind, that deployment of renewable energy gives a positive economic benefit to the Irish economy".
"Offshore wind will be crucial to meeting our objectives and offers a higher load factor and larger scale than other renewable energy technologies currently deployable. Five projects in Irish waters would generate in excess of 3000MW, allowing greater certainty and greater efficiency in terms of meeting the 2020 goals."