Dublin publishes offshore permit blueprint

Wind Energy Ireland welcomes release of offshore wind planning legislation [Image: Fianna Fail]

The Irish government has published long-awaited key legislation that aims to establish a permitting system for the offshore wind sector.

Dublin has released the National Marine Planning Framework and the Maritime Area Planning Bill.

The latter will need to pass through the Irish parliament, which is expected either by the year-end or in 2022.
Taoiseach Michéal Martin (pictured) said the legislation “provides us, for the first time in our history, with a proper long-term framework for the effective management of marine activities and more sustainable use of our marine resources”.

He added: “It enables us to set a clear direction for managing our seas, and to clarify environmental, economic and social priorities.”

Wind Energy Ireland chief executive Noel Cunniffe said the measures have been a long time coming but are nonetheless welcome.

“We will be writing to the leader of every political party in the Dáil to urge them to prioritise the passage of the Maritime Area Planning Bill,” he said.

“The Oireachtas must give it the proper, robust, scrutiny required of every piece of legislation but, if TDs meant what they said during the debate on the Climate Action Bill, it should be pushed to the top of the agenda.”

Pinsent Masons partner Kevin Collins said the publication represents the firing of the starting gun for offshore wind in Ireland.

“This gives developers and investors alike the confidence and security to begin Ireland’s energy transformation and exploit Ireland’s oft-touted significant wind resources whilst tackling head-on its potential long- term supply and demand issues,” he said.

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