Last week, I raised the issue of Energy Security and it’s impact on Investment in the context of an offshore Wind Project in Galway and the possibility of Intel locating in Oranmore
As Members know, Ireland has set a target to achieve 70% energy generation from renewables by 2030.
With that in mind, there was some recent news regarding the Macquarie Green Investment Group, GIG, having acquired Fuinneamh Sceirde Teoranta, the developer of a project off the west coast, namely, a proposal for a 400 MW offshore wind farm capable of generating enough energy to power the equivalent of up to 295,000 homes. This development was recently designated as one of seven developments with relevant project status by the Department of Environment, Climate Action and Communications and it positions the Sceirde Rocks development to be in the first wave of offshore wind projects in Ireland for delivery by 2030.
Cuirim fáilte roimh an nuacht go bhfuil togra na Cloiche Sceirde ainmnithe mar cheann de na seacht tograí le stádas ábhartha ag an Roinn Comhshaoil, Aeráide agus Cumarsáide. Tá an comhlacht a thosaigh ag obair ar an togra seo ceannaithe ag Macquarie GIG. Tá sé molta sa togra seo feirm ghaoithe 400 MW a thógáil a bheadh in ann fuinneamh a ghiniúnt d’os cionn 295,000 teach. Táimid dóchasach go mbeidh an togra seo mar bhuntáiste do chás calafort Ros an Mhíl. Freisin, tá sé geallta leis an togra seo go mbeidh ciste éigin nó maoiniú a rachaidh chun tairbhe do cheantar Iorras Aithneach agus Chonamara theas.
I certainly welcome the acquisition of this development, which will put Galway on the cutting edge of offshore wind technology. We know the importance of offshore wind capability in regard to Ireland’s plans and targets for renewables. Nevertheless, we have recently seen in the media concerns about energy security and these plans for offshore wind are for the medium to long term, although legislation on the planning process for these developments is due to come through the Houses this autumn, which is welcome. Decisions have been made regarding peat burning and there are questions regarding the future of Moneypoint. The Celtic interconnector with France, which aims to provide that energy security, has been progressing for some time, and there are some wonderful projects to address issues with solar and wind grid connections throughout the country.
I call for a debate on the issue of energy security with the Minister, Deputy Eamon Ryan, and whoever else is needed. Speculation on energy security is a concern in the context of certain projects. Intel, for example, is considering locating a new plant in Ireland and there may be concerns regarding our capabilities to provide a consistent, constant and regular supply of energy. We should, therefore, invite the Minister to appear before the House for a full debate on the issue as soon as possible.