In recent years there have been two significant trends in the wind industry: developers seeking higher quality wind resources and the development of larger turbines. Floating wind turbines is a significant innovation in the renewable energy sector as it provides developers with better access to offshore resources unconstrained by water depth.
In her presentation, Ms. Weinstein examined the policy basis for the development of renewable energy and offshore wind energy in particular, in Europe. She elaborated on Principle Power’s pilot project, the first full-scale WindFloat which will be completed in September 2011 and which will be located off the coast of Portugal. Drawing a comparison between Ireland and Portugal in terms of our similar climate, energy mix, size and population, Ms. Weinstein alluded to Ireland’s potential for developing its massive offshore wind energy resource. Finally she commented that WindFloat technology could play a central role in making offshore wind energy more accessible in Ireland and across Europe.