Marine renewable energy is an emerging industry which has very considerable potential for economic growth and job creation. This can happen through the development, manufacture, deployment and operation of wave, tidal and offshore wind technologies and the creation of an indigenous supply chain in Ireland. Ireland can capitalise on its natural advantages in the area of marine renewable energy by following the Ocean Energy Strategy. The policy context for the ocean energy initiative and for addressing wave and tidal technologies is contained in the Programme for Government, the Sustainable Energy White Paper and in the Ocean Energy Strategy 2005 (Marine Institute and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland). The initiative, announced in early 2008, will help establish Ireland as a leader in ocean energy technologies and to develop facilities that will enable the commercialisation of ocean energy products and services.
As part of the Ocean Energy Strategy an offshore wave energy test site is proposed for the Belmullet area of County Mayo. The proposed test site will be called the Atlantic Marine Energy Test Site (AMETS). The test site will provide a grid-connected national test facility, to which full-scale wave energy converters could be coupled during their final stages of pre-commercial development. The test site is an integral component of Ireland’s Ocean Energy Strategy and will facilitate testing and validation of various wave energy converters in an open ocean environment. It will be operational for a period of fifteen years and will be decommissioned thereafter.
An examination of the likely significant impacts of the project on the environment was carried out and the results are presented in this Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The conclusions of the EIS are contained in this Non-Technical Summary.
- Chapter 1 - Introduction
- Chapter 2 - Rationale and Alternatives
- Chapter 3 - Alternative Solutions Examined
- Chapter 4 - Project Description
- Chapter 5 - Impact on Human Activity
- Chapter 6 - Flora and Fauna
- Chapter 7 - Water
- Chapter 8 - Soils, Geology, and Groundwater
- Chapter 9 - Air Quality
- Chapter 10 - Noise
- Chapter 11 - Traffic and Transport
- Chapter 12 - Navigation Risk Assessment
- Chapter 13 - Cultural Heritage
- Chapter 14 - Visual Impact Assessment
- Chapter 15 - Material Assets
- Chapter 16 - Coastal Processes
- Chapter 17 - Indirect and Cumulative Impacts and Interaction Between Them
- Chapter 18 - Summary of Impacts and Mitigations
- Chapter 19 - Management, Monitoring, and Communication
- Chapter 20 - Conclusion