The Echo’s Cork Coasts series features MaREI researchers at UCC

MaREI’s Jimmy Murphy, Ross O’Connell and Fiona Devoy McAuliffe contributed articles to The Echo’s Cork Coasts series.

Jimmy Murphy wrote on ‘Coastal erosion: Managing the Irish coastline’ and says ‘More attention, effort and funding is now been given to protecting our coastline’.

Ireland’s Wild Atlantic way is framed about our rugged coastline that not only is incredibly varied and scenic, but also is resilient to the many storms that track across the country.

While we acknowledge the beauty of the coastline, we do not often appreciate or understand its vulnerability and sensitivity to different meteorological events and climate change effects.

Generally, climate change is most associated with heavy rainfall and flooding along with higher temperatures, but impacts on the coastline relate to sea level rise and potential changes in storm frequency and intensity.

Read here.

ECHO OPINION PIECE ON WAVE ENERGY A figure from the diagram pictured above right, maps the levelized cost of wave energy off Ireland and the UK.

Ross O’Connell says ‘Cork can become a leader in wave energy’, and writes about Ireland’s potential to develop Offshore Renewable Energy. 

Ireland is now emerging as a hub for Offshore Renewable Energy (ORE), with offshore wind recently taking centre-stage due to the proven commercial readiness of fixed offshore wind technology.

However, fixed offshore wind will not be suitable in all locations off our coast and if Ireland is to reach its ambitious target of net zero emissions by 2050, a mix of ORE solutions will be required.

In the shadows of offshore wind lately, somewhat forgotten about is the enormous potential for wave energy off our shores. The resource is particularly abundant off our Atlantic and Celtic Sea facing coasts.

Read the full article here. 

Offshore wind farm energy turbines at dawn. Surreal but natural sunrise at sea. Modernistic image. The future of clean energy production.

Fiona Devoy McAuliffe says ‘Offshore wind will be key to decarbonising our economy, and looks at the role Cork will play in the development of this industry’.

Ireland has access to a huge offshore wind resource and it will be key to decarbonizing our economic.

The Government’s Offshore Wind Industrial Strategy (OWIS), “Powering Prosperity,” expects the OW sector to deliver up to 5,000 jobs by 2030. Achieving 2050 targets could be worth €38 billion to the Irish economy.

The OW sector could enable energy export markets and ensure Ireland’s energy security. However, there is currently only one operational OW farm in Irish waters, the 25MW Arklow Bank wind farm.

Ireland’s Climate Action Plan has established targets to install 5GW of OW by 2030 with an additional 2GW, dedicated to green hydrogen production/other non-grid uses. Ireland aims to deliver 20GW by 2040, with 37GW by 2050.

Read here.