WELCOMING the publication of the Shannon Estuary Economic Taskforce interim report this morning, Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey said that developing new infrastructure at Shannon Airport and Moneypoint will be crucial to the success of the strategies outlined in the report. 

“The taskforce has clearly demonstrated that the Shannon Estuary has the potential to be a major European base for offshore renewable energy and a significant transport hub. It is also clear that both Shannon and Moneypoint will have critical roles to play in realising that potential,” Deputy Carey explained.

“The report states that Shannon Airport will be critical in supporting the air connectivity required from the expanding industrial base that will develop in the Estuary and the associated population growth that will ensue. Accelerating the development of the airport infrastructure will be crucial to this.

“The taskforce has also called for significant infrastructure work at Moneypoint and Foynes to deliver offshore wind energy at scale. This will require a funding mechanism to ensure this work is properly funded in the initial stages and the report states that these early stage projects will enable the private sector to invest up to €90billion in the project.

“The report sets out how Clare, Limerick and Kerry can play a leading role in the switch to renewable energy and more climate friendly ways of living and doing business. The Shannon Estuary would also become a hub for Sustainable Transport Technologies and a western “Digital Gateway” to Europe.

“It proposes significant investment in the ports at Foynes and Moneypoint, a new auction for floating wind generation in 2024, and identifying industrial sites for clean energy industries like hydrogen.

“The Report sets out the Taskforce’s ambition to begin supplying Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy through the Estuary by 2030, with the intention to significantly accelerating it up to 2050.

“There is also big potential in onshore energy generation by installing solar panels, and new anaerobic digestion facilities.

”The taskforce has also concluded the Estuary Region has the potential to double tourist numbers by becoming a destination for outdoor sports and adventure, business and leisure events, and cruise ship arrivals,” Deputy Carey added.

PHOTO: Moneypoint generating station with the Shannon Estuary in the background.