Údarás na Gaeltachta are to research and formulate a development plan for the environs of Ros an Mhíl harbour to investigate the opportunities to develop the location as a national resource for marine renewable energy. The board of Údarás na Gaeltachta has approved funding to prepare a development plan regarding the lands (30 acres) in Údarás na Gaeltachta’s ownership in Ros an Mhíl in County Galway to be utilised to progress opportunities for renewable energies on the West Coast of Ireland.
The study will include a review of the marine renewable energy sector, the opportunities that arise and the requirements and advantages that Ros an Mhíl harbour and Gaeltacht companies have to meet future demands and to benefit from same. Údarás na Gaeltachta will collaborate with the appropriate state authorities and government departments as part of the study to agree an integrated approach to develop this valuable resource. It is intended also to include sectoral expertise to ensure that the development plan is based on the latest expertise so that the marine renewable energy sector is being advanced as a strategic sector with a substantial value to the Gaeltacht.
Renewable energy issues will be central to the organisation’s new strategy for the 2021-2025 period and it will investigate issues in relation to energy conservation, carbon reductions and energy generation from renewable sources. Ros an Mhíl has been long identified by Údarás na Gaeltachta as a strategic resource, where there are feasible opportunities for the harbour to be a strategic national centre with regards to marine renewable energy. Údarás na Gaeltachta is working hand in hand with the community and the harbour development committee to ensure that the Harbour will have the opportunity to attain every possible benefit from this sector in future and that the appropriate basic infrastructure is available in the area to that end.
Anna Ní Ghallachair, Chairperson of the Board of Údarás na Gaeltachta stated:
“We are happy that Údarás na Gaeltachta will be in a position to undertake this study on the opportunities for renewable energy in the Ros an Mhíl area. This is a strategic sector for Údarás, and indeed for the whole country. If we are to halt climate change, we must avail of all opportunities there are to generate clean energy.”
Mícheál Ó hÉanaigh, Údarás na Gaeltachta’s Chief Executive Officer added:
“We look forward to the possibilities that may arise from this work and the benefit that it will have for the Gaeltacht community on the west coast and for companies interested in the green economy. A service centre could create significant investment for the area, enhancing community life, creating extra employment and reducing the negative effects of climate change.”
It is hoped to issue tenders on etenders in the weeks ahead so that the work can commence early in the new year. Údarás na Gaeltachta is committed to ensuring Gaeltacht areas will benefit from any boost in the renewable energy sector in the years ahead and it will form a significant part of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Strategy for 2021-2025 to be published early next year.