Cork Harbour Could Be Transformative
Cork Harbour identified as the gateway to transformative change in Europe’s transition to renewable energy.
Cork Harbour has the capacity to become an unparalleled hub for floating offshore wind energy in the Celtic Sea from 2025, presenting an opportunity for a new industrial sector to emerge in the region.
This is according to a report published last week, which calls on the government to enact key policy changes to ensure that Cork Harbour is in a position to unleash its potential as a key contributor to Ireland’s Climate Action targets, or risk losing out on significant private sector investment.
The European Commission estimates that Europe will need to produce 450GW of offshore wind energy by 2050. A resource assessment study of the Celtic Sea estimates that there is the potential for the development of up to 50GW of floating offshore wind capacity.
Cork Harbour is in the process of being transformed into an offshore renewables hub by the private sector in a bid to realise this potential, with circa €200m of investments already underway by companies such as Green Rebel Marine, Mainport, Doyle Shipping Group (DSG), Simply Blue Energy, DP Energy and the Port of Cork. These companies are part of a group which has come together with Cork Chamber of Commerce to produce the Cork Harbour 2025: Ready to Float report.
Conor Healy, Chief Executive, Cork Chamber of Commerce, said “Cork Harbour is perfectly positioned to support the development of floating offshore wind projects. The private sector investment that is already underway needs to be supported by progressive policy decisions at a government level, or we run the risk of Cork Harbour missing out on fulfilling its potential. This report outlines the opportunity for Cork to play a key role in harnessing the power of offshore wind to support Ireland’s critical climate action targets.
The report finds that Cork Harbour already benefits from a number of key geostrategic advantages, which make it the optimal location for designation as a strategic hub for floating offshore wind projects under the Ireland 2040 National Development Plan.
As one of the largest natural harbours in the world, with extensive maritime and energy infrastructure, the harbour is positioned in close proximity to the Celtic Sea, and ideally located to support developments off the east, south and west coasts as well as projects off the coasts of France and the UK.