THE Mayor of the City and County of Limerick, Cllr Michael Collins, has called for a cross-department taskforce to be put in place to realise the unprecedented opportunity for the Mid-West and Ireland as a whole from the floating offshore wind potential for the West Coast and Shannon Estuary.
Welcoming a report published today by Gavin & Doherty Geosolutions Ltd. (GDG), which was commissioned by Shannon Foynes Port, that identifies the enormous scale of the opportunity, Mayor Collins said that first mover advantage is critical and we need to move quickly at regional and national level.
“As someone from West Limerick, we’ve been watching and waiting for some time for floating wind technology to be advanced so that the unrivalled wind potential off the West Coast, which we are all aware of, can be finally taken advantage of.
It’s of particular interest to us here on the Shannon Estuary because capitalising on that opportunity needs a huge manufacturing and industry supply chain that, in turn, requires a deep-water port. The Shannon Estuary offers that with the deepest water access in Ireland and among the deepest in Europe.
“It’s an incredible coming together and, as this report reveals, it’s handed us an opportunity to transform the regional economy, solve Ireland’s climate change targets and even turn Ireland into an energy exporter on a global scale,” he said.
The Mayor said that the job creation opportunity for Limerick and the wider region from this is unprecedented but if we don’t go after it other nations will, with Scotland and Norway among the nations also positioning for this. First mover advantage, he said, is essential.
“Ambition alone will not make this happen. Limerick City and County Council is happy to play its part locally, working with other local authorities in the region. That’s a given. But, what we really need is an interdepartmental approach to this, drawing from the likes of Environment and Climate Change, Finance, Marine, Enterprise, Transport and the Department of the Taoiseach.
“Shannon Foynes Port deserves congratulations for pursuing this opportunity quietly over recent years and now it’s time for us all to get behind it.”
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Image used found on @ShannonFoynes