Executive Summary

With a seabed area seven times its landmass and excellent wind and wave conditions, Ireland has access to a huge offshore renewable energy (ORE) resource to help decarbonise the economy. Indeed, Ireland’s ample scope for ORE deployment means that ORE can potentially provide far more energy than is needed by the people and businesses of Ireland, and Ireland has the potential to export significant low-carbon power to consumers across Europe.

This roadmap maps the pathway to harnessing Ireland's ORE potential. ORE deployment has a crucial role to play in driving the decarbonisation of the Irish electricity system whilst also unlocking economic and societal benefits for Ireland.

It supports a coordinated Government approach to realising the potential of each key ORE technology. This is achieved by assessing the readiness of technologies and considering both the latest relevant technology innovations, and key future innovations, for ORE technologies relevant to the Irish context.

Technology trajectories are examined through techno-economic modelling scenarios where metrics such as annual deployment rates, technology performance and costs are utilised to produce projections of technology performance in the Irish market up to 2050. Techno-economic projections provide a basis for comparing the impact of different deployment pathways which vary the mixture of technologies utilised and the volumes of offshore renewable energy being delivered. In turn, the scenario analysis elucidates the critical decision points and options mapping, for successful implementation in Ireland for offshore renewable energy targets.

By reviewing the Irish policy and regulatory landscape in addition to international best practices, the roadmap process examines the required policies, regulatory frameworks, Government supports, standards and skills for delivery, that need to be established, and when, to achieve the technology’s decarbonisation potential. It also highlights the research opportunities for Ireland and identifies the skills needed to deliver this.

This roadmap is an advisory report to inform strategic planning and policy development. It is not a statement of Government policy. This roadmap will remain under review and will be updated as required by the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC) as and when significant technology or market developments demand it. It considers generating technologies only, and does not examine the development of wider enabling technologies such as interconnection, hydrogen, efuels and other grid flexibility technologies.

The Full Offshore Renewable Energy Technology Roadmap will be published by 30th April 2024.