International law firm Clark Hill LLP has announced the establishment of an offshore wind practice group in Dublin.
Aidan Eames, a consultant in the firm since its merger with Eames Solicitors just over a year ago, is leading the new group, which will serve clients investing in the rapidly growing Irish offshore wind industry and help to steer them through the consenting and planning process.
The Irish government’s climate action plan for 2023 commits to a 75 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030, in part through new targets to increase renewable energy generation to 9GW of onshore wind energy and 7GW of offshore wind energy.
Kirby Tarrant, member in charge at Clark Hill Dublin, said: “Currently Ireland generates 30 per cent of its energy from alternative sources, including onshore wind turbines. As an island nation buffeted by winds and the seas on all sides, we are uniquely placed to prosper and to become self-sufficient in energy.
“This offers both opportunity and challenges as Ireland addresses climate change, generates clean electricity and creates jobs. For successful implementation of the climate action plan, a wide range of specialist legal support is necessary.”
Mr Eames said: “Offshore wind projects have a complex journey to conclusion, often taking up to 10 years through consent, planning, survey, design, manufacture, and installation.
“With offshore turbines on the seabed, there are multiple stakeholder groups to be consulted including fisheries, heritage, ecology, military, telecommunications and government agencies. Developers will also have to work with the onshore communities through the complex consenting process for wind energy production.”
He added: “As announcements and investments are made in the area of offshore wind development, the consent and planning process is where the major bottleneck arises.
“At present there is a significant shortage of resources and