Michael Dobson, APEM Group; Dr Adrian Williams, APEM Group CEO; Dr Eliot Taylor, APEM Group and Dr James Forde, Aquafact; at the APEM Group event in Mahon last week. PHOTO: Gerard McCarthy

Ecologists to invest over €4 m

A global environmental consultancy has warned that the Irish Government’s goal to produce 5,000MW of offshore power by 2030 is “a very distant dream”.

The APEM Group, home to Ireland’s largest pool of ecologists, has committed to investing over €4 million in the country over 5 years.

However, the group said that issues with grid capacity and water depth will make it difficult for Ireland to reach its targets by the end of the decade, despite the country’s “enormous” potential for offshore wind energy.

Randal Counihan, Senior Consultant at APEM Ireland, said: “While the Government’s goal is to produce 5,000MW of offshore power by 2030, that is also the total amount of capacity guaranteed to be available on the grid for this power. This means that even if we did manage to reach or exceed the goal, there wouldn’t be any capacity on the grid available to absorb power beyond this amount.”

Mr Counihan also said that much of Ireland’s maritime area is in deep waters over 100 metres deep, which means floating wind, which is developing rapidly, will need to play a significant role if targets are to be met, particularly on the west coast.

He said: “While it is likely that in the future we could produce vast amounts of offshore renewable energy, it is a very distant dream. There is a lot of work required in order for us to get there in time to meet the targets.”

The APEM Group is a collection of boutique environmental consultancies consisting of APEM Ltd, APEM Inc, AQUAFACT, GoBe and Woodrow.

The group employs over 420 staff across its locations throughout the UK, Ireland and the US, specialising in marine, freshwater, terrestrial ecology and geospatial services.

With ongoing plans to boost its employment, the company says it is readying itself to help Ireland reach its targets in renewable energy and biodiversity.

Dr Stuart Cough, Group Board Director of the APEM Group, said: “With ecologists now in critical demand in order to help Ireland address its ecological and biodiversity challenges, meet its renewable energy targets and deliver its green agenda, the APEM Group is set to play a critical and growing role.”

Having been delayed by the pandemic, the APEM Group belatedly celebrated its Irish expansion at an event hosted at the National Software Campus, Mahon, last week.

During the event, the Group hosted a recruitment open day where they showcased opportunities to join its growing base of marine, freshwater and terrestrial teams throughout Ireland.

Further information about opportunities available at the APEM Group in Ireland is available at apemltd.co.uk