Why offshore wind
is important

Why offshore wind is important

Climate Change: A National Emergency

In May 2019, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton said climate change has been “rightly” described as the greatest challenge facing humanity. “We’re reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration,” he said. “Things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing.”

Ireland is having increasing numbers of weather events caused by climate change, with coastal areas being particularly impacted. There have been an increasing number of climate events that have affected Ireland in the last 34 years (see below) which demonstrates a clear emerging trend.

Climate Change: A National Emergency

In May 2019, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Richard Bruton said climate change has been “rightly” described as the greatest challenge facing humanity. “We’re reaching a tipping point in respect of climate deterioration,” he said. “Things will deteriorate very rapidly unless we move very swiftly and the window of opportunity to do that is fast closing.”


Ireland is having increasing numbers of weather events caused by climate change, with coastal areas being particularly impacted. There have been an increasing number of climate events that have affected Ireland in the last 34 years (see below) which demonstrates a clear emerging trend.

Major climatic events
Major climatic events
Major climatic events

Figure: Timeline of Major Climatic Events
Source: Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council Climate Change Action Plan 2019-2024

Fluvial (River) Flooding: Occurs when rivers and streams break their banks and water flows out onto the adjacent low-lying areas (the natural floodplains).
Pluvial (Rainfall) Flooding: Occurs when the amount of rainfall exceeds the capacity of urban storm water drainage systems or the ground to absorb it.

Fluvial (River) Flooding: Occurs when rivers and streams break their banks and water flows out onto the adjacent low-lying areas (the natural floodplains).

Pluvial (Rainfall) Flooding:
Occurs when the amount of rainfall exceeds the capacity of urban storm water drainage systems or the ground to absorb it.

Rapidly Growing Population in Greater Dublin Area

There is a rapidly increasing number of residents in Ireland, especially in Dublin, with the 2016 Census highlighting that by 2031 an additional 400,000 people will be living in the Greater Dublin Area. There is also an increasing number of businesses, including a growing number of technology companies requiring energy-intensive data centres. All of this is creating a large and growing demand for electricity.

Ireland’s Legal Requirements

Ireland’s obligations under the European Union Renewables Directive (2009/28/EC) are to source 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. In 2018 the figure was achieved was 33.3% (source Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland www.seai.ie). Based on current data the target will be missed. For the period from 2021 onwards our targets are significantly increasing. The European Union 2030 Climate & Energy Framework and associated legislation (Regulation 2018/1999), requires Ireland to publish a National Energy and Climate Plan for the period 2021-2030. Ireland submitted its Draft National Energy & Climate Plan 2021-2030 to the European Commission in December 2018. One of the key intentions in the plan is to deliver up to 70% of Ireland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This goal is included in the Government Climate Action Plan 2019. Offshore wind is seen as one of the key sectors to deliver this target. Dublin Array can help Ireland to achieve its renewable energy targets by producing up to 900MW of electricity from offshore wind.

Rapidly Growing Population in Greater Dublin Area

There is a rapidly increasing number of residents in Ireland, especially in Dublin, with the 2016 Census highlighting that by 2031 an additional 400,000 people will be living in the Greater Dublin Area. There is also an increasing number of businesses, including a growing number of technology companies requiring energy-intensive data centres. All of this is creating a large and growing demand for electricity.


Ireland’s Legal Requirements

Ireland’s obligations under the European Union Renewables Directive (2009/28/EC) are to source 40% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. In 2018 the figure was achieved was 33.3% (source Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland www.seai.ie). Based on current data the target will be missed. For the period from 2021 onwards our targets are significantly increasing. The European Union 2030 Climate & Energy Framework and associated legislation (Regulation 2018/1999), requires Ireland to publish a National Energy and Climate Plan for the period 2021-2030. Ireland submitted its Draft National Energy & Climate Plan 2021-2030 to the European Commission in December 2018. One of the key intentions in the plan is to deliver up to 70% of Ireland’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030. This goal is included in the Government Climate Action Plan 2019. Offshore wind is seen as one of the key sectors to deliver this target. Dublin Array can help Ireland to achieve its renewable energy targets by producing up to 900MW of electricity from offshore wind.