News

APRIL 25 2021

The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group have issued a statement calling on the government to allow time for proper scrutiny of the National Marine Planning Framework, Ireland's first Marine Spatial Plan, stating ' The IWDG in its recent Policy Document on Offshore Windfarm Development has expressed concern at the lack of a coherent strategy for the development of the Irish Offshore Wind Energy Sector, including a coherent and region-wide assessment of the environmental impacts of Windfarm Developments on benthic and pelagic habitats and species.'

APRIL 2021


The impact of wind turbines on bird populations needs much greater examination. Oonagh Duggan, the group’s head of advocacy, said there was a danger that if there was conflict between wind energy and wildlife, then the benefits of renewable energy would be undermined. She made her remarks as the charity published its latest conservation report, showing a quarter of all Irish birds are now endangered after a serious decline in their populations over the past seven years.

A total of 54 species have been included in the latest Red List, a jump of 46pc since the list was last compiled in 2013. Much loved birds such as the puffin, kittiwake and kestrel have all moved on to the list which indicates their conservation status is of the highest concern.


MAY 2020

Government has designated as 'Relevant Projects' seven proposed offshore wind developments, six close to the east coast and one in Galway Bay. These projects, progressed under the outdated Foreshore Act 1933, and based on sites selected by developers, have been fast-tracked in advance of the adoption by Government of Ireland's first Marine Spatial Plan, the National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF). In the Foreword to the draft Plan, Minister Damien English stated that the Plan would 'set out a vision, objectives and policies to help direct decision-making in the maritime area using a plan-led approach'. However, the Strategic Environmental Assessment accompanying the NMPF highlighted many aspects of the draft that need amendment before the final plan is adopted. These include site-selection procedures and the dangers inherent in the dominance of a sectoral approach.

FEBRUARY 2020

The Irish Times published an article (Feb 11th, 2020) stating 'French electricity giant, Électricité de France (EDF) has acquired a 50 per cent interest in a wind farm off the coast of Co Wicklow from a company linked to property developer Johnny Ronan'. ... 'While the utility company didn’t disclose a price for the acquisition, the stake has previously been reported to be worth in excess of €100 million for the farm 13km off the Wicklow coast and to the east of the shallow sand bank known as Codling Bank.'

....

The 99-year Foreshore Lease for this massive development was awarded in 2005, on the sole authority of the Minister for the Marine, Noel Dempsey, under the outdated and undemocratic Foreshore Act 1933, long earmarked for reform. There was no public tender, no statutory involvement of adjoining local authorities (Dun Laoghire/Rathdown and Wicklow) and no public right of appeal against the Minister’s decision. This development with hundreds of giant turbines, 13 km off Bray Head (the southern arm of Killiney Bay), will have major environmental, economic and social impacts for South Dublin and Wicklow. These impacts have not been publicly examined because of the outdated nature of the permitting process. Due to inadequate public consultation, this huge development was awarded a foreshore lease without a single submission from the public. In Ireland, unlike in other EU countries, the holders of these valuable foreshore leases are allowed to sell them on before construction, netting large profit for the original promoters.

DECEMBER 2019

Marine Spatial Planning & Strategic Marine Activity Zones

Minister Damien English announced on 12 November that strategic marine activity zones for offshore renewable energy may be designated in coastal and offshore waters as part of the government's new approach to marine planning.

CCA Comment:

The overarching purpose of Marine Spatial Planning is to balance competing interests and achieve good environmental status in Irish waters. In Ireland, a priority appears to be to facilitate offshore wind development, thus continuing the dysfunctional incrementalism of Irish policy which originated in the speculation and inadequate regulation of the Celtic tiger era. Between 2002 and 2008, extensive foreshore leases (for construction) and licences (for preliminary investigation) were awarded, largely close to the East coast, under the Foreshore Act 1933. The draft Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP, 2010) endorsed the awarding of those leases, and Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth (2012) incorporated the OREDP as an accepted sectoral Plan. Now, with Ireland's first National Marine Planning Framework and new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill coming on stream, the danger is that the proposed Strategic Marine Activity Zones for offshore wind will be selected by Government based on developers’ plans rather than a proper resource and constraints analysis as utilised in other EU countries.

NOVEMBER 22nd 2019

Proposed designation by government of Marine Activity Zones for offshore wind must not rubber-stamp developers’ plans for massive industrial developments with hundreds of giant turbines on important wildlife habitat in full view of Ireland’s east and south coasts. These projects have been proposed and progressed over the past 20 years under the Foreshore Act 1933, legislation acknowledged to be outdated, undemocratic and unfit for purpose.

We are calling on government to protect Ireland’s marine biodiversity and coastal landscapes by introducing a buffer zone (12 nautical miles/22.2Km) around our coast, in line with good international practice and in line with policy in many European countries.

NOVEMBER 12th 2019

National Marine Planning Framework

The Minister for Housing, Damien English T.D. has published the Government's draft National Marine Planning Framework (NMPF) for public consultation. Responses will be accepted until 28 February 2020. The finalised NMPF is expected to be adopted in late 2020. The Framework outlines the Government's approach to managing Ireland's marine activities with the objective of ensuring sustainable use of marine resources to 2040.

The document sets out planning objectives and policies relating to 16 different sectors/activities including offshore renewable energy (and other energy sectors), fisheries, ports, harbours and shipping, safety at sea, sport and recreation, tourism and telecommunications.

In the area of offshore renewable energy, the plan includes a statement that preference will be given to proposals for offshore windfarms (including enabling projects and infrastructure) in areas identified as designated zones for offshore wind, under a zoning process to be set out in a new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill.

Coastal Concern Alliance welcomes the publication of this draft Marine Planning Framework. Since our foundation in 2006 we have been urging government to reform The Foreshore Act 1933 and introduce a system of Marine Spatial Planning to balance competing interests in our seas.

It is of critical importance that Ireland's first Marine Spatial Plan serves the public interest and 'seeks to protect and enhance the marine environment' as envisaged in the EU Roadmap for MSP, 2008.

CCA are concerned that the designation of zones for offshore wind will be determined by developers' existing plans for massive development in the nearshore zone. To date, sites chosen have largely been environmentally sensitive shallow nearshore areas, picked out by developers on a 'first come first served' basis over the past 15 years under legislation and regulation openly acknowledged to be unfit for purpose. The average distance from shore of these sites is 10-12Km. This contrasts with an average of 42Km for offshore wind farms under construction in the EU in 2017.

The siting of these Irish developments is out of line with good international practice. Put simply, they are TOO BIG and TOO CLOSE to shore.

Coastal Concern Alliance is calling for Ireland to follow good international practice and introduce a buffer zone (22Km+) to protect marine habitats, wildlife and coastal landscapes. In this way we can avail of offshore wind and protect our beautiful wildlife-rich coastal zone, vital to ecology, tourism and quality of life.

JULY 2019

The Marine Planning and Development Management Bill - General Scheme was published on July 19. The publication is accompanied by a document showing the Overview of the Marine Planning and Development Management Bill General Scheme and a second brief outline of the Consenting Sequence. This legislation will replace The Foreshore Act 1933 and the draft bill provides details of the intended regime in Ireland's maritime area for the purposes of forward planning, state consenting, development consent and compliance and enforcement.

JUNE 2019

A Marine Planning Policy Statement (Consultation Draft) was published by Dept for Housing, Planning and Local Government and was open for public consultation until midday on Friday 9th August 2019. Coastal Concern Alliance priorities for Marine Planning are outlined in our response.

DECEMBER 2018

The National Marine Planning Framework Baseline Report was published in September 2018. The document was designed to describe the current situation - what is happening in our seas, where, when and why it is happening and the challenges that are faced at an individual sectoral level and collectively. A number of regional meetings to launch the Report were held around the country during the three month public consultation period, which closed on December 14th. The Coastal Concern Alliance submission to this public consultation is available here.

JULY 2018

Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) is finally being introduced in Ireland. Is this a question of too little too late to protect our marine wildlife, habitats and coastal landscapes? With vast tracts of sensitive near shore coastal waters (off Louth, Dublin and Wicklow and in Galway Bay) already handed over to offshore wind farm developers during the Celtic Tiger years, on a first come first served basis, under the outdated Foreshore Act 1933, with no strategic planning, it remains to be seen how the current Government will rectify the inadequate governance of this damaging era.

Since our formation more than a decade ago, Coastal Concern Alliance has been lobbying government to put in place a democratically agreed Marine Spatial Plan for Ireland. In 2016, we wrote again to Minster Simon Coveney, Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, raising our concerns about the serious democratic deficit in Ireland’s coastal governance (here) and urging him to ensure that, in order to rectify this, Ireland’s Marine Spatial Plan is drafted in the public interest.

The process of drafting this plan is now underway. A document entitled “Towards a Marine Spatial Plan for Ireland – A Roadmap for the delivery of the national Marine Spatial Plan” prepared by Ministers Eoghan Murphy and Damien English was published in December 2017. This Plan aims to meet the requirements of EU Directive 2014/89/EU that established a framework for MSP defined as:

a process by which the relevant Member State’s authorities analyse and organise human activities in marine areas to achieve ecological, economic and social objectives”.

The Roadmap sets out the process and time-frame for the production of Ireland’s first Marine Spatial Plan. It emphasises the Department’s intention to engage in wide public consultation, especially with coastal communities, ‘to give coastal communities and other stakeholders a clear role in determining how we plan for current and future uses and treatment of our marine territory’.

To this end, meetings are being held in coastal communities around Ireland. Few people seem to be aware of these meetings so a more robust awareness campaign needs to be put in place to increase stakeholder participation in the development of Ireland’s first MSP.

In addition to these public meetings, anyone who wants to become involved in the MSP process may make contact in writing by email at msp@housing.gov.ie or by post to Marine Spatial Planning Section, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Newtown Road, Wexford, Y35 AP90.

2 APRIL 2014

Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan 2014 – A threat to east coast landscapes and marine environment

The Government adopted (Feb 2014) an Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) which poses a serious threat to the protected coastal landscapes and marine wildlife of Ireland’s high amenity East coast. The Plan and its accompanying Strategic Environmental Assessment provide the framework for the construction of large- scale wind farms with up to 800 giant turbines (up to 180m) in full view of the coasts of Louth, Dublin and Wicklow. These wind farms are proposed by private developers and the energy generated is to be exported direct to the UK. They are to be constructed 6 to 13km from shore, mostly on shallow sandbanks, a vulnerable habitat, protected under EU Habitat’s Directive (Annex 1) because of importance to marine wildlife, cetaceans and birds.

The OREDP, “a framework for the sustainable development of Ireland’s offshore renewable energy resource“ states that at least 4800MW of offshore wind can be installed off the East coast “without significant adverse impact on the environment”. (p.30). Such a conclusion can only be drawn if significant adverse visual impact on designated coastal landscapes (predicted in developers’ environmental statements) and unknown impact on marine wildlife is not considered to be an environmental constraint.

The OREDP is not a “national strategic plan” in the accepted sense of forward planning in the public interest. With regard to offshore wind it is a clear example of retrospective planning. It serves simply to rubber stamp the large scale offshore wind farms permitted (1620MW) and progressed (c.2000MW) close to the East coast in an ad hoc manner with no national plan and no Strategic Environmental Assessment during the Celtic Tiger era. The permitted wind farms, both off Wicklow, are the 520MW Arklow Wind Park (200 turbines) permitted 2002, and the 1100MW Codling Wind Park (220 turbines) permitted 2005. Proposed wind farms include the 330MW Oriel Wind Park ( 55 turbines) off Louth; the 520MW Dublin Array (145 turbines) off Dublin and the 1000MW Codling Wind Park 2 (200 turbines off Bray Head). The location of these large scale wind farms, on protected habitat close to protected East coast landscapes, is out of line with good international siting practice, reflecting the inadequate regulation of the sector. These wind farms are too big and too close to shore. The average distance from shore of these wind farms is 10km. This compares to the average distance from shore of offshore wind farms under construction in Europe in 2013 which is 30km according to the European Wind Energy Association. The visual impact of offshore wind farms on adjoining coastal landscapes is a key consideration in all EU maritime countries, with countries such as Germany introducing 22km buffer zones around their coasts to protect visual amenity . The shocking lack of consideration given to this key aspect of appropriate siting in Ireland, reflects the undemocratic and outdated permitting process and the dominance of development interests.

The offshore wind farms off Ireland’s East coast have been advanced under the outdated Foreshore Act 1933 which gives the Minister for the Environment sole authority to permit construction in Irish waters. There is no affordable right of appeal against the Minister’s decision, contrary to the Aarhus convention. This Act has long been officially acknowledged to be unfit for purpose and in need of significant reform. New legislation - The Maritime Area and Foreshore Amendment Bill - is being introduced to reform the permitting system.

In adopting the OREDP 2014, the Fine Gael /Labour coalition has failed to take the opportunity to address the legacy of speculation and inadequate regulation in the coastal zone which they inherited. They have ignored the well documented, inappropriate manner in which developer-led offshore wind projects were advanced off the East coast during the Celtic Tiger era under outdated legislation, at variance with good international practice.

Instead of taking a fresh approach, the coalition simply adopted the previous administration’s draft OREDP, produced by Minister Eamon Ryan in 2010. This draft OREDP 2010 , took all the huge wind farms advanced in an ad hoc manner off the East coast between 2002 and 2010 and presented them as part of a “Plan” to guide sustainable development in Irish waters.

The lack of transparency in the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan 2014 is very evident. Nowhere in the 60 page document - A Framework for the Sustainable Development of Ireland’s Offshore Renewable Resource - does it state that the bulk of the 4500MW of offshore wind development “that could potentially occur off the East coast assessment area without likely significant effects on the environment” has already been permitted or progressed with no Plan and no Strategic Environmental Assessment. Submissions made in response to the public consultation on the Plan have not been published on the Department of Energy’s website. This serves to further undermine public confidence in the way our coastal zone is governed.

Coastal Concern Alliance is extremely concerned at the manner in which developers’ plans for large scale development of offshore wind farms, originally proposed to service the Irish market and now earmarked for export, are being advanced with no cost benefit analysis and scant community consultation.

18 NOVEMBER 2013

CCA Submission to Joint Oireachtas Committee on New Foreshore Legislation

The undemocratic Foreshore Act 1933 is finally being reformed . It has left a damaging legacy of large scale offshore wind farms permitted and progressed in an inappropriate manner in Ireland’s near shore zone without any strategic planning. This legacy must be addressed if development in the coastal zone is to be sustainable

Coastal Concern Alliance was invited to make a submission to the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Environment , Culture and the Gaeltacht who are considering the heads of the new Maritime Area|& Foreshore Amendment Bill. The new Bill transfers responsibility for development consent for large projects deemed to be of a strategic nature to An Bord Pleanla.

See Submission here

1 JUNE 2013

NOTE: Dublin Array Public Consultation Period extended to 5pm on 28 June 2013.

Coastal Concern Alliance has made a submission to the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government (Foreshore Section) containing comments on the Environmental Impact Statement accompanying the application to the Minister by Saorgus Energy Ltd for a foreshore lease for the Dublin Array wind farm.. Our submission objects to the massive industrial development which proposes 145 huge turbines (160m high) with major adverse visual impact on Dublin and Wicklow coastline and unknown impact on marine wildlife and protected sandbank habitat. It highlights the outdated and undemocratic foreshore legislation, inadequate regulatory regime and developer- led process which has facilitated the application for this inappropriately sited development. The lack of democracy and inadequate consultation surrounding the issuing of foreshore leases, is underlined by the fact that the majority of coastal residents and their public representatives are unaware of the large scale development proposed for the Dublin/Wicklow coastline

CCA’s submission includes an Appendix prepared by Model Works Media. This appendix critiques the photomontages and visual impact assessment carried out on behalf of the developers and focuses on the impact of the wind farm on some specific preserved coastal views and prospects listed in Dun Laoghaire/Rathdown and Wicklow County Development Plans. It includes a photomontage showing the cumulative impact of the Dublin Array and Codling Bank wind farms on protected views from Bray Head. The methodology employed in the production of these verifiable photomontages is clearly set out. Model Works Media is an established firm in the production of verified photomontages and the assessment of visual impact on receiving environments. The firm is recognised as an independent expert among the architectural and planning professions. Its work is regularly relied upon by designers and planning authorities in the visual assessment of proposed developments. Its methodology follows and in some cases informs, best practice in the industry.

See Submission here

Appendix 1 Photomontages here

1 MAY 2013

Overview: Dublin Array offshore wind farm with 145 huge turbines proposed by developer for Dublin Bay /Killiney Bay will have significant adverse visual impact on coast of Dublin and Wicklow.

Introduction: A private company has lodged an application with the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government for a Foreshore Lease to construct a large scale wind farm (“Dublin Array”) on the Kish & Bray Banks, 10 km off the coast of Dublin & Wicklow. The application proposes construction of 145 turbines, each up to 160 m from sea level to blade tip, five times higher than the Kish Lighthouse (31m) . The proposed development, one of the largest offshore wind farms in the world, would cover an area of 54 km2.

It will industrialise the entire seascape, degrade protected sandbanks and have unknown impacts on marine wildlife and birds.

3 APRIL 2012

CCA's submission to the recent consultation on Our Ocean Wealth puts on public record our concerns about the manner in which coastal zone policy has evolved in Ireland during the Celtic Tiger era, shaped largely by industry interests rather than an overall vision for our coasts and seas.

Large scale offshore wind farm development has been permitted in Ireland’s East coast near-shore zone under outdated and undemocratic legislation (The Foreshore Act 1933) in a manner which does not comply with EU Environmental Directives; no coastal or marine spatial planning has been introduced to balance competing interests and large areas of ecologically rich habitat have not been surveyed and designated for protection as is required by the EU Habitats and Birds Directives.

As in many other areas of Irish governance, we are now at a turning point in our efforts to protect the public interest in management of a key national resource – the marine and coastal environment. The current administration must not choose to accept and build on the inadequate regulation and speculation of the past. Instead in the spirit of the “Programme for Government”, it must openly acknowledge past mistakes and work to ensure that the future of our coastal area is based on open and democratic discussion of what is best for Ireland, its people and its environment into the future.

In a short introduction, CCA puts on the public record our concerns about the following planning issues.

1. Global Offshore Wind Farms – Comparison with Ireland

2. Wicklow Offshore Wind Farms – Speculation and Inadequate Regulation

3. Draft Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan – Developer led

4. Export of Offshore Wind Energy (ISLES project)-need for cost benefit analysis

5. Coastal Landscape Impact - a key constraint

Coastal Concern Alliance Submission to Our Ocean Wealth is available here

2 FEBRUARY 2012

CCA calls for public inquiry in relation to application by Providence Resources for Foreshore Licence to explore 6Km from shore in Dublin Bay.

CCA letter sent to Minister Hogan (1/2/2012) in response to the consultation on the application by Providence Resources for a foreshore licence for exploration in the Kish Basin. This proposed development is inside the 12 nautical mile (nm) zone and highlights once again the inadequacy of the current regulatory regime to democratically assess the large scale industrial development currently planned and proposed in Ireland's in shore waters. CCA are calling for a public inquiry and the introduction of a 12nm buffer zone around the coast

18 JANUARY 2012

Expensive Offshore Windfarms not Needed to Meet Ireland's Renewable Energy Targets says Minister Pat Rabbitte

At question time in Dail Eireann, in relation to Sustainable Energy Projects, Mr Pat Rabbitte TD, Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, outlined the Irish Government's position with regard to offshore wind energy. "I am confident that Ireland has the capability to achieve its targets for domestic renewable electricity from the onshore wind projects already in the existing gate processes", he said. "Offshore wind currently costs in the region of €3 million per MW to deploy compared to the cost of onshore wind which is about half of that. ... Offshore wind is at least twice as expensive. I am satisfied, on the best advice available to me that we can make our targets from the development of onshore capacity, biomass and related technologies."

13 DECEMBER 2010

Strategic Environmental Assessment of Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan

The Irish government is belatedly moving to comply with the EU directive 2001 42/EC (The SEA Directive). The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has prepared a draft Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) and has requested that SEAI’s Ocean Energy Development Unit, working in close collaboration with the Marine Institute, undertake a Strategic Environmental Assessment “to evaluate the likely significant environmental effects of implementing plans to develop offshore renewable energy (offshore wind, wave and tidal) in Irish waters”.

The OREDP and Environmental Report were made available for public consultation from mid November 2010 for 8 weeks. This period of public consultation was subsequently extended by the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources to allow for publication of a Natura Impact Statement (NIS) during the month of February 2011 to inform the appropriate assessment of the OREDP. The Department’s website states:

The three documents (SEA Environmental Report, NIS and draft OREDP) will then be made available for comments and submissions by the public for a further period of not less than 4 weeks from the date of publication of the NIS by the Department of Communications Marine and Natural Resources. Written submissions may be submitted either by email to oresseaconsultation@seai.ie or by post to SEA Consultation, Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Wilton Park House, Wilton Place Dublin 2.

Major National Issue

Two of the biggest offshore wind farms in the world, involving up to 420 turbines, have already been permitted,10/12 km off county Wicklow on the sole authority of the Minister for the Marine with:

  • No national plan for offshore renewable energy development

  • No strategic environmental assessment

  • No statutory involvement of local authorities

  • No public right of appeal

These developments are the 520MW Arklow Bank Wind Park (approved by Minister Frank Fahey in 2002) and the 1100MW Codling Wind Park (approved by Minister Noel Dempsey in 2005). In addition to these two permitted projects, substantial amounts of offshore wind power are already well advanced, notably Dublin Array/Kish Bank, Dublin Bay (520MW); Oriel Windfarm, Dundalk Bay, (330MW); Sceirde Wind Farm, Galway (100MW).

How will the Irish government deal with these extensive offshore wind projects, permitted and progressing under outdated legislation and inadequate regulation?. Will the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan and Strategic Environmental Assessment simply serve to rubber stamp inappropriate decisions already taken? Or will Ireland’s beautiful, wildlife rich coastal zone be given the protection afforded to the coasts of other EU countries?

18 MARCH 2010

Ireland: EU Commission sends final warning over four breaches of environmental law

The European Commission is sending a final warning to Ireland over four cases where it has failed to comply with European Court of Justice rulings concerning illegal developments that may harm the natural and man made heritage of the countryside, access to justice (and public participation in decision making) and protection of marine mammals (whales, dolphins and porpoises).

29 JANUARY 2010

ESB rules out involvement in “more expensive” offshore wind generation

The ESB believes offshore wind generated electricity is more expensive than even nuclear technologies and will not enter that sector in the medium term

16 DECEMBER 2009

ESRI questions offshore wind subsidies (RTE1)

The ESRI has published an economic policy review on sourcing electricity needs from wind, and building and maintaining the transmission network to accommodate this.

7 DECEMBER 2009

Ireland and eight European countries agree on North Seas Wind Project

At the Energy Council today, Minister Eamon Ryan signed a political declaration on the North Seas Countries Offshore Grid Initiative.

19 MARCH 2009

Small firms are looking to cash in big on green energy (The Scotsman)

“Small specialist companies are taking equity stakes in early stage renewable energy projects, gambling that they will enjoy a windfall long before earth is turned.” “ Joel Staadecker, SeaEnergy Chief Executive, said the resources needed to take an offshore wind farm to development stage are “small beer” compared with the construction phase, but the returns on investment are high.

26JUNE 2008

Energy Spokesperson, Simon Coveney TD, says 'Government all at sea on Offshore Wind'

5 JUNE 2008

Shell pulls out of key offshore wind farm project (Financial Times)

“Shell said on Wednesday it was seeking to sell its stake, while increasing its investment in onshore wind farms in the US”

30 MAY 2008

Vestas calls for greater focus on onshore wind (Business Green)

“Vestas, the world's largest manufacturer of turbines has today urged political leaders to focus on increasing capacity from onshore wind farms, amid warnings that the cost of installing offshore wind farms will continue to rise.”

29 MAY 2008

Offshore Wind Power: Capital Costs Will Continue to Rise (Cambridge Energy Research Associates)

“Supply chain bottlenecks and the resulting increases in capital costs for offshore wind power could create new challenges for Europe's target of generating 20 percent of its energy from renewable resources by 2020, according to a new report by Cambridge Energy Research Associates. The report, Offshore Wind: It's Not a Breeze outlines the major factors affecting offshore wind investment in the next decade.”

12 MAY 2008

The Economic and Social Aspects of Biodiversity. Benefits and Costs of Biodiversity in Ireland (Dept Environment, Heritage & Local Government)

“By drawing a comparison between the value of ecosystem services provided by biodiversity and the cost of implementing biodiversity protection policies, the authors established a marginal value of biodiversity to Ireland of at least €2.6 billion per annum”

8 FEBRUARY 2008

Announcement unlocks potential of renewable energy in Ireland. €4 billion investment in renewable energy now possible. (NOW Ireland)

“Measures announced by Minister Eamon Ryan today will unlock the potential of offshore wind energy in Ireland according to the National Offshore Wind Energy Association of Ireland. (NOW Ireland web site: Press releases)

8 FEBRUARY 2008

Minister launches new price support for offshore wind (DCENR)

“Minister Ryan announced the latest change to the REFIT scheme, which will support the development of offshore wind-power projects at a price of €140 per megawatt hour of power produced.”

14 FEBRUARY 2008

EU Nature Policy - Challenges in a changing world (EUROPA)

“2007 has been a remarkable year with environmental issues rising to the top of the EU's political agenda. Climate has grabbed the headlines but the loss of biodiversity is a global threat that is just as serious and needs to be faced with the same urgency. In one crucial way it is more worrying since there is no way to reverse extinction.” (Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas)

15 DECEMBER 1999

Dail Debate

Richard Bruton TD criticises Foreshore Permitting Procedure under legislation which is

“ancient and anachronistic”