Sir, - There are major problems when onshore wind doesn't comply with expectations; but it is the cheapest form of renewable energy available and as such an increasing threat to the countryside. It also means reliance on high-carbon natural gas, now itself at risk.
Although Ireland has potentially enormous offshore wind energy, there are technical, economic and political difficulties between talking about it and getting it to the electricity grid. There are already companies planning large-scale wind farms off the coast of Waterford, but within 22km of the coast, deeply upsetting fishermen and environmentalists.
However, Ireland's coastal waters deepen very quickly, making anything further than 15 to 20km from shore, too deep for fixed-bottom turbines beyond that limit. Further off-shore will require floating turbine technology which we do not yet have.
Thus, by the early 2030s, if our Government would get its skates on regarding off-shore wind, and the removal of the legal barriers to nuclear on the grid, we could have plentiful renewable energy backed up by low-carbon small modular reactors. - Yours, etc,