Wind power jobs lost as officials ‘mocked’ the technology

Valuable jobs in the wind industry have been lost as senior officials mock the technology, said a former senior civil servant.

eter Coyle said Ireland had its chance to become a leader in offshore wind 20 years ago when the world’s second-largest farm and at the time was built off the coast of Arklow.

“We didn’t take advantage of that opportunity.

“I was one of those people who didn’t take chances. We mocked a lot about offshore wind,” he said.

Instead, Denmark became the pioneer and now has 23,000 people working in the industry.

Mr Coyle said Ireland still has a chance to become a world leader with the next generation of offshore wind farms in the 2030s using floating turbine technology instead of the current fixed bottom structure.

But he said the “stupid” attitude in Tánaiste’s department would have to change and Enterprise Ireland and the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) would have to urgently come up with a plan of action.

Mr Coyle has worked for the Department for Business, Trade and Employment for 30 years and his last role was head of Enterprise Ireland. He is currently the president of the Marine Renewable Energy Industry Association.

He told the Oireachtas Climate and Environment Action Committee that the department lacks ambition for the wind industry.

“They will need to be involved, need to be involved, need to have policy development by the IDA and Enterprise Ireland to exploit the opportunity,” he said.

“I don’t think organizations have been given a vision or a rigorous goal.”

Mr Coyle said the Danes are building an artificial island in the North Sea to serve as an offshore wind energy hub, with a custom designed deep-water port and worker housing.

“That’s the kind of ambition we need,” he said.

“We are victims of the veiled aspect of the Irish government, the fact that parts are tribes in their own right, interested in their own territory and not interested in territories. other.”

A series of major offshore projects are planned around the east and southeast coasts by 2030, some of which are expected to be submitted for planning permission before the end of the year. , but all will be fixed bottom turbines.

The next stage is to include floating turbines for deep water off the West Coast, where untapped wind energy could make Ireland a major exporter of electricity.

Officials from the Bureau of Enterprises confirm they are working to develop job opportunities in the wind sector.

Marie Bourke, lead official in the department’s climate action policy unit, said more than 65 small and medium-sized companies are part of a “supply chain cluster” known as the Gael Offshore Network, which offers services such as seabed surveying and boat support services.

“The Department and its agencies are actively engaged in capacity building in the indigenous region for these supply chain opportunities,” said Ms. Bourke. Wind power jobs lost as officials ‘mocked’ the technology

Fry Electronics Team

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