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ERI/CUBS researchers publish national picture of offshore renewable energy sector

A lack of government engagement, support and funding are highlighted as the main barriers for Irish firms when entering or doing business in the Irish offshore renewable energy sector, a Cork University Business School (CUBS) research finds.

214 firms were surveyed in the report which reveals a national picture of the common challenges and strengths for firms operating in the sector.

The study is part of a wide research agenda into the sector and was launched yesterday at event with Dr Jimmy Murphy (Principal Investigator of SELKIE) MaREI Centre/ERI, Mr TJ Horgan (Project Manager of SELKIE) MaREI Centre/ERI and Dr Frank Crowley, Workpackage 9 Lead of SELKIE) CUBS/ERI and chaired by Dr Jane Bourke (Department of Economics, UCC).

“In order to stimulate technological investment and commercialisation in the sector, it is vital to have both firm funding commitments and a stable policy and planning environment. Presently there is huge uncertainty around these factors in Ireland,” said lead researcher Dr Frank Crowley.

“Ireland has the natural resources and the unique geographical location to be the global leader in these sectors of the future. But now, I don’t see the commitment or the will from Government. There is too much second guessing on the technology and taking an adoptive and wait and see approach.”

“The technologies are advancing, we see sites in Scotland, Wales, Portugal, the U.S. The technology will get cheaper and no matter what renewable tech becomes superior, be it offshore wind, wave or tidal, we still need to prepare our infrastructure, our ports, our grid, our research centres, and our supply chains. Certainty, commitment, and leadership by Ireland is needed sooner rather than later,” said Dr Crowley.