EirWind is a MaREI Centre’s industry-led collaborative research project, co-designing the opportunity around the sustainable development of Ireland’s marine resources, using offshore wind as the catalyst for innovation and impact. It has been funded by the industry partners and Science Foundation Ireland. The project utilises the concepts of Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) where relevant, including interactive use of advanced data-analysis, strategic planning, Irish marine and renewable energy policy initiatives and stakeholder management. This two-year phase consists of five interactive technical work packages (WP) and will:
- Develop a stakeholder engagement and data management framework, in the study of strategic areas for the development of offshore wind, off Ireland’s east, south and west coasts (WP2).
- Review the challenges associated with consenting offshore wind projects and improve cost optimization tool and cost reduction solutions, in order to develop an advanced approach to planning future development sites and co-location of activities (WP3).
- Review stakeholder engagement, policy and legislative frameworks and previous practice, and, where relevant, suggest new and improved methods for planning of stakeholder management in the study area to identify issues and their relative importance at an early stage. That includes informing developers and policy makers about potential risks to seabirds, as well as zone specific mitigation measures (WP4).
- Provide an status of the electricity and gas networks, relevant to the region, as well development strategies for the distribution and storage of energy, including export market possibilities (WP5)
- Assess impacts from the development of renewable energies offshore in as much detail as possible, from a biological, environmental, infrastructural and sociological point of view. Cumulative and proximity-effects will be considered. Where possible, mitigations will be suggested (WP6).
Work package 2: Data management for site evaluation
- Prof. Andrew Wheeler (WP Leader)
- Dr Jared Peters, Postdoctoral Researcher
- Tiny Remmers, GIS Research Assistant
WP3: Development optimisation for Cost Reduction
- Dr Jimmy Murphy (WP Leader)
- Dr Cian Desmond, Research Fellow
- Rachel Chester, Research Engineer
- One researcher to be appointed
WP4: Governance and Biological
- Dr Valerie Cummins (WP Leader)
- Dr Mark Jessop (WP Co-Leader, Biological)
- Dr Declan Jordan (WP Co-Leader, Socio and Spatial Economics)
- Yvonne Cronin, MSc researcher
- Dr Sarah Kandrot, Postdoctoral Researcher
- Three researchers to be appointed.
- Dr Anne Marie O’Hagan, Senior Research Fellow (Adjunct member)
- Zoe O’Hanlon, MSc researcher (Adjunct member)
WP5: Markets, infrastructures and economic benefits
- Dr Paul Leahy (WP Leader)
- Dr Eamon McKeogh (Energy Market and Storage Technical specialist)
- Dr Nguyen Dinh (WP Co-Leader)
- Two researchers to be appointed
- Dr Valerie Cummins (WP Co-Leader)
- Dr Jimmy Murphy (WP Co-Leader)
- Dr Eamon McKeogh (Consultant)
- Dr Nguyen Dinh
The EirWind research and industry partners are interested in taking a long term view of Ireland’s offshore wind potential, as part of Ireland’s opportunity to demonstrate the sustainable use of the country’s vast marine resources. A supply chain will be potentially initiated and grown as in Fig. 1 with good mix of industry partners originated from Ireland and from Canada, France, Norway, Spain and the UK (Fig. 2).
Fig. 1 EirWind potential supply chain contributed by 10 industry partners
Fig. 2 Geographical mix of EirWind industry partners
The project’s impact will include identification of sustainable measures for energy security, climate change, job creation and governance challenges of transitioning towards sustainable energy futures. Risk will be effectively minimised though an interactive multi-disciplinary project team in collaboration with experienced industry partners in the fields (Fig. 3)
Fig. 3 Interactive multi-disciplinary project team
 V.N. Dinh and E. McKeogh (2018). Offshore Wind Energy: Technology Opportunities and Challenges. Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering 18, 3-22, Available from: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-981-13-2306-5_1
 M. Lange, A. M. O’Hagan, R. R. N. Devoy, M. L. Tissier and V. Cummins (2018). Governance barriers to sustainable energy transitions – Assessing Ireland’s capacity towards marine energy futures. Energy Policy, 113, 623 – 632, Available from: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2017.11.020.