A new report released today led by a collaboration of regional stakeholders identifies an unprecedented opportunity for the Atlantic Region in the Growth of Onshore to Offshore Wind. The study was commissioned by the Mid-West, North-West and West Regional Enterprise Offices and funded by the Enterprise Ireland Regional Enterprise Transition Scheme, Clare County Council, Donegal County Council, Leitrim County Council, Limerick County Council, Mayo County Council, Tipperary County Council and the Western Development Commission.
The report found that by 2037 there could be upwards of 5,000 jobs supported directly by the offshore wind sector, generating up to €400 million in Gross Value Add annually for the Atlantic region. The impact on indirect employment will be equally transformative. The figures projected in the report are a direct correlation to wind farm delivery and the indirect benefits could be many times greater. The report also points towards many more positive downstream economic, environmental and societal impacts that would be likely following the direct impact of jobs and the supply chain delivery.
When assessing the skills needed for the industry to grow, the report identified engineering, applied sciences, logistics, digital, and supply chain management as essential. Other occupations and skills required to support the industry include science and humanities; construction and technical; legal and professional services; transport; electrical maintenance and infrastructure.
Minister of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Dara Calleary TD commented, “This report is an asset for the Atlantic region to progress and develop the wind energy industry, identifying the huge opportunity for the region in the onshore to offshore wind energy sector and the potential for thousands of high-quality, sustainable jobs that it brings. I look forward to working with all of the regional stakeholders, public and private, in striving to deliver on the promise of this study.”
The report considered three build-out scenarios across the Atlantic region. These allow projections under Steady, Rapid, and Aspirational outcomes. The projections from the analysis in the study indicate that the offshore wind sector will overtake the onshore industry in the Atlantic Region within 15 years. The longitudinal economic model built in this study estimated that the combined GVA of onshore and offshore wind in the Atlantic Region will be €2.85bn up to 2037 in the ‘Rapid’ build-out scenario.
In the ‘Steady’ scenario the GVA is reduced to €1.86bn and for the ‘Aspirational’ scenario the GVA is increased to €4.21bn to 2037. The modelled scenarios anticipate that the level of economic activity in the region will grow throughout the 2030s. By 2037 it is expected that in the Atlantic Region the wind sector will annually generate €220 million GVA in the Rapid Build Out Scenario, €170 million GVA in the Steady Build Out Scenario, and €400 million GVA in the Aspirational Build Out Scenario.
The study also identified several barriers to success and made a number of key recommendations. These include the delivery of a regionally inclusive national energy strategy to co-ordinate route to market, grid upgrades along the Atlantic region and developing new courses and centres targeting the wind energy sector, with a particular emphasis on floating offshore wind skills and expertise not currently offered by Irish educational bodies.
The report compiled by Dublin Offshore Consultants and Bigger Economics was presented to stakeholders across the region today and is now available to read in full on the Western Development Commission Website.