Annual Offshore Conference will hear calls for more resources for the planning system and action on floating wind.

Tánaiste Micheál Martin TD will tomorrow (2 May) open Ireland’s annual Offshore Wind Conference in Dublin’s Clayton Burlington Hotel as momentum accelerates behind the country’s ambitious plans for new offshore wind farms.

The agenda for the conference is available here and it will be opened on its second day, (3 May), by Minister for Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan TD.

Hundreds of delegates from the Irish and global offshore wind industry expect to hear details of the new sites identified by the Government for development off the south coast, as well as the draft terms and conditions for Ireland’s second offshore wind auction which is due to take place before the end of the year.

Meanwhile, the first new offshore wind farms for a generation will enter the planning system before the end of June at a time of unprecedented excitement within the industry at the pace of policy development.
The theme of the conference, sponsored by ESB/Ørsted, is Seizing our economic opportunity, highlighting the enormous benefits to our economy, and particularly to coastal communities, that will come from building an entirely new Irish energy industry.

New guide to offshore wind farms.

To help members of the public better understand the opportunities presented by Irish offshore wind energy, Green Tech Skillnet in partnership with Wind Energy Ireland, is launching a new online tool, developed with BVG Associates. This will show users, step-by-step, how an offshore wind farm is developed.

Funded by Skillnet Ireland, and available online at, this interactive guide will help individuals and communities to understand how Ireland’s newest source of energy will be designed, built and operated, along with the scale of the job opportunities it will create.

Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland, said: “For 20 years Arklow Bank has been Ireland’s only offshore wind farm but it won’t be alone much longer. Ireland’s first offshore wind farms in a generation are about to enter the planning system after a successful first auction last year. A Government which is clearly committed to achieving Irish energy independence is setting out a long-term plan that will see 20 GW of capacity operating by 2040 in some of the best wind conditions on the planet. Our planning system is being reformed. Our electricity grid is being strengthened. New auctions, including one for later this year, are already scheduled. In launching our new interactive guide to offshore wind energy we are looking to help bring people with us, to help them better understand how, together, we will transform Ireland’s energy future.”

ESB and Ørsted
“ESB and Ørsted are pleased to jointly sponsor Ireland’s flagship offshore event. Combining our strengths and track record of delivery across Ireland and the globe, we’re keen to support the transition to a new, indigenous Irish energy system which is both secure, affordable and clean”, said Ciaran McManus, Asset Development Manger at ESB.

“With our partnership to develop up to 5 GW of offshore wind, our eyes are fixed on the detail underpinning the upcoming ORESS 2.1 auction; the first to be held under Ireland’s new plan-led system. An auction delivered is, however, not a wind farm built, and so we look forward to discussing policies to incentivise build-out over the two-day conference”, added TJ Hunter, Senior Director for Development and Operations at Ørsted UK & Ireland.

Floating wind energy

While the immediate focus is on fixed-bottom wind turbines there are growing calls from within the industry for concrete plans for the development of floating wind energy in Ireland’s deeper waters.

Noel Cunniffe continued: “We can make Ireland a world leader in floating wind energy. To do this, we need two things. First, we need all of the east and south coast fixed-bottom projects to get built. They will build the port infrastructure, the supply-chain and the investor confidence needed to develop floating wind energy. Without these projects the idea that people will invest billions in floating wind farms in a country that has failed in the development of offshore wind energy is ludicrous. Second, we need clarity from the Government on their plans for a floating wind energy ‘demonstrator project’. How big will it be? Where will it be located? How will it connect to the electricity grid? Our members are eager to get to work to help answer these questions.”


While the mood is positive within Ireland’s wind industry Wind Energy Ireland stressed how critical the next 12 months are going to be.

Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland, concluded: “We are still worried that An Bord Pleanála, the National Parks & Wildlife Services and key environmental stakeholders are not ready for the six offshore wind energy planning applications which will be on their desks shortly. It should be a national priority to ensure our planning system has the resources and the expertise to properly, fairly and robustly assess these applications in time to get these projects delivered by the end of the decade. It is important that the next offshore auction takes place before the end of the year but also that we know when the subsequent auctions will take place and for what locations.”

About Ørsted

The Ørsted vision is a world that runs entirely on green energy. Ørsted develops, constructs, and operates offshore and onshore wind farms, solar farms, energy storage facilities, renewable hydrogen and green fuels facilities, and bioenergy plants.

Ørsted is recognised on the CDP Climate Change A List as a global leader on climate action and was the first energy company in the world to have its science-based net-zero emissions target validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Headquartered in Denmark, Ørsted employs approx. 8,900 people. Ørsted’s shares are listed on Nasdaq Copenhagen (Orsted). In 2023, the group’s revenue was DKK 79.3 billion (EUR 10.6 billion). Visit .


Our work on the Irish offshore wind guide was led by George Hodkingson