The Irish Government has opened a consultation for its first ever offshore wind auction. This is the first step in Ireland’s ambitious plan of having 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030. Ireland already has the highest share of onshore wind in its electricity mix of any country in Europe – 38%. But it wants to get 70% of its electricity from renewables by 2030. To deliver that the Government wants to add a further 4GW of onshore wind capacity by then – and build 5 GW of offshore wind. Today the Emerald Isle only has one small offshore wind farm. This is all set to change. The Government is designing its first offshore wind auction and has just issued a public consultation on it. They plan to run two auctions by 2025 to cover the 5 GW that would then be built by 2030. They will use two-sided Contracts for Difference (CfDs) – good. CfDs are cheaper for Governments and consumers than other support schemes. They act as a revenue stabilisation mechanism and they reduce the financing costs of new wind energy projects. Most of these first 5 GW will be bottom-fixed offshore wind. Beyond 2030 the Government wants Ireland to have a massive 35 GW of offshore wind by 2050, and this would require significant volumes of floating offshore wind too in the deeper waters off the south and west coasts.
Wind Europe 15th Oct 2021 read more »