The Government has announced a new system to allow offshore wind projects to get the go-ahead.
It comes as there are increasing concerns about the country’s fossil fuel dependence in light of upcoming carbon emission targets, and the war in Ukraine.
Developers will be able to get a special Maritime Area Consent from the Environment Minister Eamon Ryan – which would then allow them make an application for an offshore wind farm to An Bord Pleanala.
The Department of Environment will make a judgement on the applicants viability – meaning that only projects that could be completed will go forward into planning – which the Government says will streamline the process.
For years campaigners have called for more of a focus on off-shore wind farms to help power the electricity grid, rather than on-shore as they can cause issues for those living nearby.
Environment Minister Eamon Ryan says this is a tangible milestone towards 80 percent renewable electricity by 2030.
So far there’s only one operating offshore wind farm here – off the coast of Wicklow – with the hopes that more projects like these will help reduce the country’s carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels.