France announces third round of offshore wind programme
The French Government has announced a third round of licencing for offshore wind energy. The first two tenders totalled 3,000 MW and the third is expected to be 3,000 MW. The UK already has a very progressive offshore wind programme as have the Belgian, Dutch, German, Danish and Swedish governments. In fact, Ireland is the only EU member state with an Atlantic offshore wind resource that does not have a programme for the development of that resource. This is an anomaly in EU energy policy. It is starkly at odds with two aspects of the EU Energy Union programme.
Firstly, Ireland has very poor performance compared to all other EU members in terms of a) energy import dependence, b) programme for achieving EU targets and c) greenhouse gas emissions per capita. Secondly, Ireland is also not developing some very significant indigenous renewable energy resources, the largest of which is offshore wind. It is clear, given the scale of the Irish resource, that Ireland can contribute very significant offshore wind capacity into Energy Union. The lack of any such development programme undermines Energy Union.