The enormous potential of the offshore energy sector is well recognised, both here in Ireland and by the EU. However, realisation of this potential requires fully coordinated support from right across Government, from research and development, through supply chain development, to commercial deployment. Not alone is renewable energy of key environmental importance, it also provides a real, and sustainable, economic opportunity for Ireland, both in terms of providing a secure, indigenous, source of energy, and as a clean export.
With several national strategies focusing on sustainability, Mayo now has an opportunity to capitalize on its maritime endowment and unlock its true economic potential. Mayo is already a front runner in sustainability with unparalleled environmental designations, renowned aquaculture, world class marine research centre and an offshore test site for wave & wind energy. It has the base to formulate, expand and deliver sustainable economic growth for the county in line with the National Strategic Outcomes set out in the Project Ireland 2040 National Planning Framework.
The Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS) close to Belmullet could be the catalyst for true growth of this otherwise untapped energy resource. The test site is an integral component of Ireland’s Ocean Energy Strategy and is being developed in accordance with the national Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP).