Arklow bank

Image: Arklow Bank provided by GE Energy


Your Offshore Wind Questions Answered


What is offshore wind, and how does an offshore wind farm make energy ?

Offshore wind energy uses the wind at sea, which is stronger and more consistent than the wind on land.  The wind moves the turbine blades around the rotor. This spins a generator and creates electricity. Underwater cables carry the clean energy to an offshore substation. From there it moves through our electricity grid, and into our homes, towns and workplaces.  We can store this electricity in batteries or convert it to green hydrogen, so that we have energy whenever we need it.





What drives the location of an offshore wind farm  ?

As an island we have plenty of coastline – and plenty of wind. Offshore wind farms will ensure Ireland has a secure, clean source of energy.  But an offshore wind farm needs specific conditions. Surveys are carried out and we work with communities and local experts to identify the best sites for potential wind farms. Fixed offshore turbines are normally used in shallower waters but new technologies are creating new possibilities for the future.  By 2030 we will also be using floating wind turbines in deeper waters.





Is offshore wind energy a solution to climate change  ?

We are living in a climate emergency and we need to act now to save our planet and our communities. Climate change is causing more and more extreme weather events, flooding cities, burning forests and hills and devastating communities. Renewable energy is key to reducing greenhouse gases and tackling climate change. Offshore wind will help to build a cleaner future.  Wind energy produces no greenhouse gases, and any emissions from wind farm construction are quickly offset.





Can offshore wind provide us with energy security and keep the cost of electricity down  ?

When we produce our energy in Ireland it means we do not have to rely on importing expensive fossil fuels. Offshore wind can help reduce our reliance on imported gas and provide cheaper energy to homes, communities and businesses across Ireland. Electricity prices will stay high until we get off fossil fuels. Offshore wind energy is cheap compared to oil and gas so when turbine blades are spinning they are pushing expensive fossil fuels off the electricity grid and helping to protect consumers.





Will offshore wind bring investment into Ireland and create a new industry and jobs  ?

Offshore wind is Ireland’s future. Offshore wind energy opens an enormous opportunity – for jobs, for Irish business and for research and development.  We need to invest in infrastructure, training and people to help transform the European energy system and grasp this opportunity. Every single day thousands of people are going to work in Ireland’s rapidly growing wind energy industry. But we need more people … more ecologists and planners.  More engineers, turbine technicians, and sea vessel crew.  More people working in wind energy administration to build an Ireland that is energy independent. This is our chance to build a completely new Irish industry that can compete on an international stage. We all have a stake in creating a more sustainable Ireland.  Embracing wind energy will help to build it.





Will having an offshore wind farm nearby be good for communities  ?

When an offshore wind farm is your neighbour, the wind farm will share funds with the communities they are close to. Local groups are best placed to identify the priorities for their community and how these funds are spent for the benefit of the community.  This local knowledge means wind farms can fund projects which will truly benefit those who live, work or spend time in the area. Funds from offshore wind farms can help transform and revitalise coastal and rural communities. When communities and offshore wind energy work together, all of Ireland benefits.





Can offshore wind be developed while also safeguarding our natural environment  ?

Ireland is not immune to the climate emergency. We need to develop offshore wind energy to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.  But we must do so in the most environmentally sustainable and sensitive ways possible. Any potential effect on marine and birdlife must be carefully investigated before constructing a wind farm.  We work with expert ecologists, environmentalists and local experts on the development of wind farms.  And we respect the knowledge of the fishing community, and the importance of the sea to their livelihoods. Protecting our landscape and seascape is a crucial part of sustainable development. Offshore wind energy is here to play a positive role in safeguarding our environment.



Ireland has a vast offshore territory with the potential for generating offshore wind energy.  Harnessing it will make Ireland energy independent. 

Our small country has a history of early adoption of new sources of energy:

  • We built the Ardnacrusha hydro electric power station in the 1920s. 
  • Bellacorrick, Ireland’s first commercial scale wind farm was built in 1992. 

We are world leaders when it comes to integrating wind energy on to our electricity grid.  

Now – to help Ireland become energy independent and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels which pushes up electricity prices in Irish homes and workplaces – we need to adopt offshore wind energy.