Shannon region can play a leading role in the switch to renewable energy.
The Shannon Estuary has the potential to be the premier location in Ireland for offshore renewable energy as well as a transport hub for Ireland, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said today as he published the Interim Report of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce.
The Taskforce’s Interim Report sets out how the Region can play a leading role in the switch to renewable energy and more climate friendly ways of living and doing business.
“The publication of this Interim Report is very timely in the context of the global climate emergency, and security of energy concerns arising from the war in Ukraine”
The Estuary would also become a hub for Sustainable Transport Technologies and a western “Digital Gateway” to Europe.
It proposes significant investment in the ports at Foynes and Moneypoint, a new auction for floating wind generation in 2024, and identifying industrial sites for clean energy industries like hydrogen.
Atlantic offshore wind energy
The Report sets out the Taskforce’s ambition to begin supplying Atlantic offshore wind energy through the Estuary by 2030, with the intention to significantly accelerating it up to 2050.
There is also big potential in onshore energy generation by installing solar panels, and new anaerobic digestion facilities.
“The significant potential of the Shannon Estuary area to stimulate sustainable economic growth not only for the region, but for the country, based on the abundant renewable energy resource, and the economic transformation which that can bring, is very clear,” Taoiseach Micheál Martin, TD, said.
“The publication of this Interim Report is very timely in the context of the global climate emergency, and security of energy concerns arising from the war in Ukraine.
“I look forward to the Taskforce’s final report, and I would like to thank the Taskforce for their commitment and work to date.”
The Estuary Region also has the potential to double tourist numbers by becoming a destination for outdoor sports and adventure, business and leisure events, and cruise ship arrivals.
The Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce was set up by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment last April on foot of a Programme for Government commitment to develop an economic action plan for the area. This Interim Report is an important milestone, outlining a vision for the Estuary area and how to achieve it.
It follows extensive consultation with regional, national, and international stakeholders across industry, Government, Local Authorities, elected officials, and members of the public.
“This Report sets out big ambitions for the Shannon Region and rises to the challenge of global issues like the climate crisis and moving away from fossil fuels,” said Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, TD.
“I’m excited to see the proposals for renewable energy, industry, tourism, and logistics in this interim report. It should result in significant job growth and new business opportunities.
“The wide focus of this Report across many economic sectors will ensure that any growth is sustainable. I commend the Taskforce and its chair Barry O’Sullivan for its work to date, and I look forward to engaging with the Taskforce as it completes this important body of work.”
Environment Minister Eamon Ryan, TD, emphasised te urgency of harnessing the benefits of the Shannon region in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable way.
“Ireland and Europe are at a crossroads in terms of our response to the climate crisis. The Shannon Estuary has a proud history of leading innovation in energy; the Ardnacrusha Hydro-electric power station was a truly ambitious project almost 100 years ago. We now look to the Estuary for our next major energy transformation, and today’s report begins to map out the Estuary’s response.