The political parties in Ireland’s potential coalition government have published a joint framework document describing a plan to ‘recover, rebuild and renew’ Ireland after the Covid-19 emergency that includes a commitment to a ‘Green Deal’ and making Ireland an offshore wind leader
The document published by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael on 16 April 2020 contains 10 key ‘missions’ including a commitment to relaunch and renew the economy and a new ‘green agreement.’
In the section on the proposed ‘Green Deal’, they state that “the climate crisis is the most pressing existential crisis” and the response domestically and internationally to the Covid-19 emergency illustrates a capacity to react comprehensively and imaginatively to fundamental challenges.
“We must utilise the radicalism of the response to this emergency to tackle the climate and biodiversity crisis, and we shall do this through implementing a New Green Deal for Ireland and our commitment to the European Green Deal,” said Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
“Actions being taken across government must align with this New Green Deal and carbon neutrality by 2050.”
In order to do this, the coalition is planning to set new carbon reduction targets, and “make Ireland a European leader in offshore wind energy, exploiting the potential off our west coast, in particular.”
Responding to the plan, Cornwall Insight head of Ireland Conall Bolger said, “For offshore wind to contribute to Ireland’s 2030 targets, we would need to see significant volumes emerging in Renewable Energy Support Scheme (RESS) auctions in 2021 and 2022.
“These dates reflect the industry standard time it takes to progress from auction to turbines spinning. It would entail gigawatts of capacity being procured in short order.
“To fully exploit the west coast would involve a move to floating turbines as opposed to fixed foundation turbines. There are some exciting developments in this space internationally and some interesting domestic innovation projects.
“Still, the Irish Government should consider a systematic programme to accelerate projects on the Atlantic coast if they wish to facilitate a high volume of projects in the waters off our west coast. Serious consideration would need to be given to leasing, consenting and grid.”