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Clogherhead Offshore Wind Farm will be the second project developed by the ESB and Parkwind partnership following on from the nearby Oriel Wind Farm Project.

Across the EU countries are seeking to reduce their CO2 emissions by investing in renewable energy. Ambitious targets have been set by governments with regards to the amount of renewable energy generation by 2030, 2040 and 2050, with offshore wind expected to contribute significantly towards these targets.

Offshore wind farms offer many benefits over onshore wind farms, wind speeds are higher and more consistent offshore allowing for greater energy generation. Placing the turbines offshore allows for larger turbines to be installed producing a higher output with fewer turbines.

The Irish Government have set a target for offshore wind of 5GW by 2030, followed by 20GW by 2024 and 37GW by 2050. More information on the ESB’s offshore wind plans can be found here.

The EU Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) Directive provides for the establishment of maritime spatial planning at EU member state level, including the development of Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE), which must take place according to an ecosystem-based management approach and include opportunities for public participation. In line with the Marine Spatial planning (MSP) Directive, the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF) was adopted by government in May 2021 as Ireland’s first statutory maritime spatial plan. To facilitate sustainable maritime spatial planning, inter alia in a manner that ensures environmental protection and comprehensive public participation, the NMPF commits government to the use of subnational forward spatial planning through the establishment of Designated Maritime Area Plans, or DMAPs. It provides that DMAPs may be used to develop multi-activity area plans; to promote use of specific activities (such as ORE); and/or for the purposes of the sustainable use and for consideration of sensitive habitats.