Clark Hill: Ireland on course to miss renewable energy targets

Clark Hill: Ireland on course to miss renewable energy targets

Aidan Eames

Ireland will be years off meeting its offshore renewable energy targets because of judicial reviews, costly appeals and planning delays, a new report from international law firm Clark Hill warns.

“As matters stand, we believe Ireland will not deliver on its 2030 targets of 5GW of offshore wind production due to a lack of resources in the planning approval process and major bottlenecks in the areas of judicial review and legal challenges in the courts system,” the firm’s new briefing document states.

Clark Hill has suggested a number of measures — from legislative changes to an increase in resources for planning and regulatory bodies — which can be taken by the government to ensure it meets its ambitious goals under the Climate Action Plan 2021 and accompanying legislation.

One of the key recommendations set out in the report is the appointment of a single qualified person or agency with full overarching authority to drive and implement the necessary changes, resources, and acceleration required to meet the targets.

Aidan Eames, solicitor with Clark Hill, said: “Our analysis is that these offshore wind farms, which cost almost €1 billion each, will miss their delivery dates by between four and eight years unless immediate action is taken.”

Kirby Tarrant, member in charge at Clark Hill in Dublin, added: “Our report shows the potential regulatory pitfalls and delays and the need to have an in-depth preview of all maritime planning applications to reduce the risk of legal challenges.”

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