Harnessing Ireland’s offshore wind opportunity

offshore wind farm

How can countries build an offshore wind market that benefits the local economy?

Vast areas of deep water and some of Europe’s highest wind speeds give Ireland a natural advantage in offshore wind. In addition, the country’s Climate Action Plan is driving policy development and investment to ensure offshore wind is blowing strong. It has led to a pipeline that is fit to supply more than the country’s energy needs and capacity targets that could turn Ireland into a net energy exporter. 

However, Ireland must scale its infrastructure if it seeks to localise the industry and bring jobs to the island’s coastline. If unsuccessful, developers may need to look elsewhere for construction, causing Ireland to forgo this economic opportunity.

Recognising the risk that Irish businesses could miss out, Ireland's wind energy industry, with the support of Green Tech Skillnet, sought to turn the corner. It wanted to see how Ireland could support local suppliers, bring autonomy to the industry and scale cost-effectively.



Dissecting the market opportunity of local supply chains

As an independent voice, we have been at the forefront of marine energy and offshore wind industry development in the UK and the EU for the past decade. As such, we were in a strong position to help Ireland strengthen its local supply chains for offshore wind farms. 
Through close interactions with Enterprise Ireland, Wind Energy Ireland and key industry stakeholders, we:

Value chain

Reviewed the status of Ireland’s offshore wind supply chain. Currently, Irish firms can only attract 22% of the multi-billion investment unless steps are taken to grow local supply chains.

supply chain

Marked out Irish businesses that could support and localise the island’s supply chain.

wind turbine

Determined the industry’s scaling needs. As part of this, we assessed the suitability of 16 ports to build wind farms in Irish ports.


Highlighted industry areas which Irish businesses cannot support and require outsourcing.


Outlined policy changes and incentives to attract further funding into the industry.

Our analysis revealed that Ireland urgently needs to invest in its offshore wind infrastructure and delved into the solutions that can help Ireland overcome its teething problems to scale. Discover our suggestions in our analysis, Harnessing our potential: Investments and jobs in Ireland’s offshore wind industry.


A roadmap to harness offshore wind’s economic potential

Our analysis gave Wind Energy Ireland direction on where to focus its efforts and support this early-stage development of the market that thrives domestically and competes globally.

More importantly, it echoes the industry’s growing calls for action. Through this project, Wind Energy Ireland was able to:

economic benefits

Demonstrate the economic and social benefits of building local supply chains.

wind turbine

Prepare itself for the surge in uptake of offshore wind and drive strategic investment into key areas: ports, skills capacity and local enterprise.

Team training

Encourage swift action through collaboration. In 2022, Enterprise Ireland launched the GAEL Offshore Wind Network, connecting 65 Irish companies.

If all suggestions are implemented, Ireland could reach 3.5 GW* offshore wind capacity in a way that meets local needs:


Up to 36%

of investment could be captured by Irish-based companies in the near term (up from 22%). That equates to €6.5 billion over the lifetime of these projects.

construction jobs

2,500 jobs

could be created between 2025-2030 for the development and construction alone.

commercial opportunity

A €70 million-worth

commercial opportunity for Irish staging ports over the lifetime of the project.

*From 3.5 GW to 7 GW

In 2022, Ireland raised its offshore wind target to 7 GW. It fortifies the island’s commitment to the industry. But it’s also a stark reminder that now, more than ever, government and industry must work closely together if Ireland looks to meet this target, cut costs and harness the economic benefits for coastal communities.