Cork Harbour 'perfectly positioned'
A new report has highlighted how Cork can lead the way in terms of floating offshore wind energy.
The Cork Harbour 2025: Ready to Float report, published on Tuesday, detailed how Cork Harbour has the capacity to become an unparalleled hub for floating offshore wind energy in the Celtic Sea from 2025, presenting an opportunity for a new industrial sector to emerge in the region.
The report calls on the Government to enact key policy changes to ensure that Cork Harbour is able to unleash its potential as a key contributor to Ireland’s climate action targets, or risk losing out on significant private sector investment.
The European Commission estimates that Europe will need to produce 450GW of offshore wind energy by 2050. A resource assessment study of the Celtic Sea estimates that there is the potential for the development of up to 50GW of floating offshore wind capacity. Cork Harbour is in the process of being transformed into an offshore renewables hub by the private sector in a bid to realise this potential, with circa €200m of investments already underway by companies such as Green Rebel Marine, Mainport, Doyle Shipping Group (DSG), Simply Blue Energy, DP Energy and the Port of Cork.
These companies are part of a group which has come together with Cork Chamber of Commerce to produce the Cork Harbour 2025: Ready to Float report.
Conor Healy, Chief Executive, Cork Chamber of Commerce, said: “Cork Harbour is perfectly positioned to support the development of floating offshore wind projects. The private sector investment that is already underway needs to be supported by progressive policy decisions at a government level, or we run the risk of Cork Harbour missing out on fulfilling its potential.
“This report outlines the opportunity for Cork to play a key role in harnessing the power of offshore wind to support Ireland’s critical climate action targets.”
The report highlighted the modern facilities available in the harbour, including the Cork Dockyard privately owned by DSG, which it identified as ideal to operate an extensive offshore wind operation.
The redevelopment of the Dockyard to a clean, green facility, due to be progressed for planning during 2021, will be an imperative project when it comes to supporting floating offshore wind developments, the report said.
The plan for an extension to the deep-water berth at the Port of Cork Ringaskiddy Terminal is also highlighted as a key factor in ensuring that the harbour has the capacity to handle increased traffic.