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Ireland eyes new marine renewable energy site

Illustration (Courtesy of MaREI)

Posted on December 10, 2020

Ireland’s regional authority Údarás na Gaeltachta has unveiled plans to investigate the opportunities of establishing Ros an Mhíl harbour on the country’s west coast as a centre for marine renewable energy.

Ros an Mhíl harbour, located in County Galway, and its surrounding area will be the subject of a study to develop the area as a national resource for marine energy, according to Údarás na Gaeltachta.

The board of Údarás na Gaeltachta has approved funding to prepare a development plan regarding the 30 acres of land – owned by the regional authority – to be utilised to progress opportunities for renewable energies on the west coast of Ireland.

The study will include a review of the marine renewable energy sector, the opportunities that arise and the requirements and advantages that Ros an Mhíl harbour agus Gaeltacht companies have to meet future demands and to benefit from same, Údarás na Gaeltachta said.

The regional authority will collaborate with the appropriate state authorities and government departments as part of the study to agree an integrated approach to develop this valuable resource.

The developers also plan to include sectoral expertise to ensure that the development plan is based on the latest expertise so that the marine renewable energy sector is being advanced as a strategic sector with a substantial value to the Gaeltacht.

Anna Ní Ghallachair, Chairperson of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta, said: “We are happy that Údarás na Gaeltachta will be in a position to undertake this study on the opportunities for renewable energy in the Ros an Mhíl area. This is a strategic sector for Údarás, and indeed for the whole country. If we are to halt climate change, we must avail of all opportunities there are to generate clean energy”.

Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Chief Executive Officer, added: “We look forward to the possibilities that may arise from this work and the benefit that it will have for the Gaeltacht community on the west coast and for companies interested in the green economy. A service centre could create significant investment for the area, enhancing community life, creating extra employment and reducing the negative effects of climate change”.

Renewable energy issues will be central to the organisation’s new strategy for the 2021-2025 period and it will investigate issues in relation to energy conservation, carbon reductions and energy generation from renewable sources.

Údarás na Gaeltachta noted the tenders on etenders are expected to be issued in the weeks ahead so that the work can begin early in 2021.

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