Ireland has an extremely high wind resource potential, the topography allows for onshore demonstration and commercial use, and there is the enormous offshore potential. Being a rather small country, it may also be easier to get political support as fewer people are involved in decision making than in other countries.
1.2 AWE potential
1.2.1 Wind resources
Ireland has excellent wind conditions both onshore and offshore. In terms of wind resources, basically any location in Ireland would be suitable for AWE.
Figure 2: Wind resources in Ireland up to 500m. Source: Uni Bonn
1.2.2 Site availability
Ireland is in general sparsely populated with many rural areas with few inhabitants. However, villages and farms are quite spread out. Detailed site analysis is required.
Nearshore and offshore locations: Blue Wise Marine has identified suitable sites, see figure below.
Figure 3: AWE-suitable Inshore and offshore sites (preliminary results). Source: BlueWise Marine 2022
1.2.3 Roll-out opportunities
- Remote farms
- Sparsely populated areas
1.3 Energy policies
1.3.1 Renewable Energy Legislation
AWE is not considered in the Irish RE legislation and regulation.
No mentioning of AWE in NECP.
1.3.3 R&D / Investment support
Some programs exist, e.g. from SEAI.
1.3.4 Revenue support
There is no special remuneration for AWE. According to DECC, AWE systems could get the wholesale market price for electricity exported to the grid if
- the operator has a licence which can be applied for at Commission for Regulation of Utilities Water and Energy – CRU Ireland; for systems in the few 100 kW range there should be a straight-forward process
- The grid connection has been granted by EirGrid. Price levels can be found at: https://www.semopx.com/
As of 2022, there is no support scheme for renewable systems between 50 kW and 1 MW.
1.4 Regulation and permitting
The permitting process for a AWE test site is lengthy as it requires a large amount of documentation including:
- Archaeologist Report
- Dept Culture, Heritage And Gaeltacht
- Design Stage Report
- Discharge Documentation
- Environment Section
- Inland Fisheries Ireland
- Noise Impact Assessment
- Noise Monitoring Location Map
- Ornithology Assessment
- Planning And Environmental Report
- Reinstatement Progam
- Report On Existing Culvert
- Road Design Office
- Site Access Details
- Site Layout, Access Plan
- Traffic Management Plan
- Waste Management Plan
The planning application details of the County Mayo website are publicly available.
1.4.2 Airspace regulation
IAA : https://www.iaa.ie/general-aviation/drones Steps to take towards AWES permit to fly:
- Registration of AWES kites
- Request restricted airspace
- SORA assessment, determine SAIL category
- If SAIL III, Design Verification approval (e.g. via EASA)
- (Ireland specific) Operational documents approval via DUTO (declared UAS training organization), https://www.iaa.ie/general-aviation/drones/rpas-training-facilities
In March 2022, AWEurope provided input to the planned policy framework for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in Ireland. It was requested to consider AWE systems as future airspace users and special type of UAS – i.e. “tethered UAS” – in the Irish UAS policy framework and to involve the AWE sector in its development.
1.5 Key policy stakeholders
1.5.2 Ministry / DECC
1.5.3 Other ministries / agencies
1.5.4 Regional / local public administration
1.6 AWE stakeholders
1.6.1 AWE OEMs
No Irish AWE OEMs.
1.6.2 IEA Task 48 Participants
- Blue Wise Marine
- MaREI Research Centre, University College Cork
- NUI Galway
- University College Galway
- University of Limerick
- RWE Ireland
1.7.1 Test sites
RWE test site in Mayo County (Bangor Erris) will be going operational in summer 2022. It will be the first test site in Europe where 24/7 AWE operation will be possible (final permitting not yet granted as of July 2022).
Figure 4: Area of the test site in Bangor Erris (peat field)
Figure 5: Map of RWE AWE test site. Source: RWE 2021
1.7.2 Commercial sites
Not available yet.
1.7.3 Industry & Jobs
- Software development
- Jobs at test and commercial sites: operations, tourism,
- Later: Offshore expertise
Contact us. We are looking forward to meeting you!