Ministers have insisted offshore wind farm planning rules are coming, after a major developer pulled out of the Irish market.
It has emerged today that one of the biggest wind energy companies in the world has withdrawn from a €2 billion development of a large offshore wind farm in Co Clare.
The Irish Examiner reports that the Norwegian company - Equinor - is not satisfied with the planning and regulatory regime that currently exists for offshore development
Eamon Ryan said these regulations will be improved soon to help prevent companies from leaving the market.
Speaking this morning, he said: “The Oireachtas at the moment is at committee stage on the Maritime Area Planning Bill. That will be in law before Christmas.
“Obviously we have some developers coming in, and some may leave. But the planning and regulatory system to assist offshore wind is coming… and we will see the development of offshore wind at scale.”
Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath, meanwhile, said he "wouldn't be too perturbed” by today’s development.
Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, he said: “We are determined to make our planning and regulatory system fit for purpose for offshore, renewable wind energy.
“We have legislation going through the Oireachtas at the moment… which for the first time will have a dedicated system in place to address planning issues in respect of all maritime matters.
“We will be backing that up with investment by the State… we do expect by 2025, that we will see actual offshore, new renewable developments in place.”
He said this is one company, but others are “very eager” to enter the Irish market.
The news of Equinor pulling out of the Irish market comes on the same day the Government is due to unveil its climate action plan.