Mapping Ireland’s territorial waters
22nd February 2023
ESB stands ready to deliver renewable offshore wind energy for Ireland
22nd February 2023

In profile: The Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce

To ensure that Ireland’s target of 7GW of installed offshore wind capacity is met by 2030, the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce has been tasked with establishing a coherent whole-of-government plan, incorporating adequate structures, governance, project management and delivery supports.

Established by Minister Eamon Ryan TD and chaired by Matt Collins, Assistant Secretary – Energy, Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications (DECC), Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce’s ongoing work streams include marine planning and consenting, grid development, ORESS, and ports policy.

As a cross-departmental body, the taskforce’s membership comprising senior officials from the following government departments and state agencies (though other stakeholders may attend as required):

  • Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage;
  • Department of Transport;
  • Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment;
  • Enterprise Ireland;
  • Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science;
    Department of Public Expenditure, NDP Delivery and Reform;
  • Department of Rural and Community Development;
  • Commission for Regulation of Utilities; and
  • EirGrid.

Meeting approximately every six weeks, the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce is tasked with driving a joined-up approach to the development and implementation of the delivery plan for the State’s 2030 offshore wind targets. It is intended to accelerate delivery as well as capture the long-term economic opportunities associated with the development of offshore renewable energy.

To achieve this, the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce is required to:

  • develop a project plan that collates the ongoing workstreams across all departments and agencies;
  • identify all aspects of critical work and ensuring maximum efficiency (avoiding duplication and establishing the potential for cooperation);
  • identify opportunities to accelerate delivery in the medium term;
  • maximise the economic potential of a newly established offshore win industry;
  • ensure consistent messaging on offshore wind energy development and its benefits in Ireland;
  • align the development of offshore wind energy with efforts to enhance marine biodiversity through the designation of Marine Protected Areas; and
  • produce a long-term strategy to achieve at least 30GW of installed floating offshore wind capacity after 2030.

With a remit stretching to the end of 2023 (or sooner should its work be completed), DECC is tasked with organising the taskforce’s meetings, drafting notes of the meetings, and circulating material in advance. At the same time, DECC is also providing the taskforce with support services, including project management expertise. Indeed, the department has sought consultancy services to assist in the application, enhancement and broadening of DECC’s Strategic Delivery Framework.

The successful tender is assisting DECC and the taskforce to establish a “consolidated Offshore Wind Project Plan” across departments and agencies, establish a programme management function to determine “activities on the critical path”, and oversee delivery.

Through DECC’s internal governance and oversight structures, the Offshore Wind Delivery Taskforce will support the department’s reporting to the Climate Action Delivery Board and Minister Ryan’s reporting to the Cabinet Committee on Environment and Climate Action.