Ireland seeks public input on offshore renewables guides

Illustration (Photo: SEAI)
Illustration (Photo: SEAI)

Irish government has launched a 12-week public consultation on two draft guidance documents to help support the development of offshore renewable energy in Ireland.

The draft documents aim to provide guidance on the preparation of Environment Impact Statements (EIS) and Natura Impact Statements (NIS) for offshore renewable energy projects, as well as guidance on marine baseline assessments and monitoring activities to evaluate potential environmental impacts of renewable energy projects in the marine area.

The purpose of the draft guidance document on the preparation of EIS and NIS is to assist developers in preparing the relevant statements that may be required for development projects and also to provide competent authorities, consultation bodies and the public with a basis for determining the adequacy of these statements, according to the government.

The draft guidance document on marine baseline assessments and monitoring activities will seek to to provide technical guidance on the data requirements and monitoring necessary to evaluate potential environmental impacts of renewable energy projects in the marine area, provide specific recommendations and an overview of best practice in this regard.

Denis Naughten, Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, said: “The preparation of these draft guidance documents is one of a number of projects being progressed under the Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan, and it is hoped that they will be of interest not just to the offshore renewable energy industry but will be of wider interest also. I look forward to feedback from all relevant stakeholders.”

The public consultation is open until December 16, 2016.

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