Wicklow Sinn Féin TD John Brady has welcomed the announcement of Codling Wind Park as one of the successful bidders in Irelands first ever wind energy auction. But, expressed bitter disappointment at the failure of SSE Renewables Project base off Arklow to secure a licence.
The announcement of the O-RESS 1 offshore wind auction results represent a milestone in our energy transition but have delivered high prices reflecting ongoing, systemic and concerning problems here.
The results of the O-RESS 1 auction announced today confirm that costs will be over €86/MWh, a price more than €20 above the European average of €65/MWh.
“The announcement of the results represents both a good and bad outcome for Wicklow. The success of Codling Wind Park is to be celebrated, but the fact that SSE Renewables project off Arklow were unsuccessful is bitterly disappointing. Particularly with the potential that the project in Arklow had to address unemployment in the area.
The development of the wind energy industry has the potential to provide an economic boom to Wicklow. The fact that Codling Wind Park which was one of the successful bidders, and will be based in the county offers opportunities for community benefit. Which will bring jobs, and ancillary services.
However, this is tempered by the economic loss that the announcement represents to Arklow.
While I welcome the fact that we have reached this important milestone in the state’s energy transition, like onshore wind and solar, the Irish auction for offshore wind has delivered stubbornly high prices.
The government will present this as progress but, in truth, we are still floundering when compared to our international counterparts. When compared to our British and Scottish neighbours for example, we are way behind.
The most recent Scottish auction delivered at €42/MWh. Ireland has a wind resource that means we have the potential to become a world leader in renewables production. However, this government seems totally determined to totally squander this opportunity.
While the results announced today are lower than speculated in recent media reports, they are still too high. As a result, Irish workers and families will continue to struggle under the weight of exorbitant electricity costs. Built into these high prices are assumptions regarding curtailment and constraints on our grid, high connection costs, and anticipated delays in planning.
Had these well-flagged issues been addressed, prices would have been lower. The fact is, we are paying higher prices due to government incompetence.
It is high time this government heeded those sounding the alarm bells and addressing the systemic and concerning problems in the planning and grid systems here. This is essential, not only to deliver on our renewables potential but also to reduce energy bills for workers and families. Enacting Sinn Féin’s Cost of Renewables Taskforce Bill 2022 would be a useful start.”