Dulas, a leading independent renewable energy advisor, has reported that the potential market for brownfield site development in Ireland could be up to 3GW, with some significant commercial advantages over ‘greenfield’ project sites. The findings have been detailed in Dulas’ first Irish Brownfield Report, launched today, examining the complexities of managing Irish brownfield site development and facilitating entry for developers and investors into this new market.
Ireland is widely considered to be the next big European solar opportunity. Benefitting from an established domestic solar market and a strong high tech sector, the country offers fertile ground for the development of a significant brownfield solar market.
An established leader in the field of energy storage research and development, the greater availability and reliability of energy storage throughout Ireland has increased the appeal of Irish solar energy to potential investors.
In addition, the Irish government has recently affirmed a clear commitment to clean energy, and is now in consultation on the best approach to financing renewable energy developments in the country.
Based on market estimates of 400-600 brownfield sites in Ireland, and working on the basis of a Feed in Tariff favourable 5MW project size per site, development could potentially provide up to 3GW of new capacity. This is, of course, a best case scenario, as not all sites would be available or suitable for construction.
However, until the government’s renewables policy and the financial support it is to receive are finalised, the level of detail required to instil confidence in investors and enable them to back the market remains elusive.
Additional challenges, such as the need to hire specialist consultants and contractors, and possible planning hurdles in securing the relevant licences for construction on contaminated land, will also need to be considered by any new entrants to the market.
Managing these challenges will be crucial if the Irish solar sector’s promise is to be realised. In its Irish Brownfield Report, Dulas explores the significant potential for the successful development of brownfield solar sites in Ireland, the opportunities this affords investors and developers, and how best to deal with these challenges.
Given Dulas’ proven track record of working with developers on brownfield sites across the UK, the report enables stakeholders to leverage Dulas’ experience in an often overlooked area of the market.
The report discusses in detail the process of brownfield site identification and development from the ground up, including site designs, analyses and documentation, and the roles and responsibilities of the site’s various stakeholders. It further provides an overview of required and desirable technical development partners and the relevant safety and environmental regulations.
“The Irish solar market is one that can offer the right incentives to construction and development, with all the benefits of building in a mature Western European economy,” said Alistair Marsden, Sales & Marketing Director at Dulas. “As our Irish Brownfield Report reveals, brownfield construction in Ireland enables swifter and easier planning, and the potential for improved grid accessibility.”
“This Irish Brownfield Report is the first in a series that will enable investors and developers to understand the complexities of managing brownfield site development in Ireland, from identifying the most promising sites to dealing with the legacy issues of sites that have already undergone development,” he added.