Energia has been granted foreshore licences to allow it to begin surveying for offshore wind energy projects off Wicklow, Waterford and Wexford.

The projects, if completed, would provide up to 1,600MW of offshore wind power, equivalent to the requirement for powering over a million homes.

"The award of Foreshore Licences for our North Celtic Sea and South Irish Sea projects represents a significant milestone in the early-stage development of these projects," said Peter Baillie Managing Director of Energia Renewable.

"In reaching this point, the projects have joined a small number of other offshore projects that can realistically contribute to the achievement of Ireland's 2030 targets."

However, Mr Baillie said Ireland still does not have a planning and consenting regime for such projects.

He said while this will be addressed in upcoming legislation, it will undermine the achievement of Ireland’s national targets by phasing in the development of offshore wind.

Armed with the licences, Energia now plans to carry out survey work over the next two years.

It said no structures will be built on shore and there will be no negative impacts on the marine or coastal environment.

If they go ahead, the proposed windfarms will be located between 10km and 25km out to sea.

A public consultation on the proposed North Celtic Sea project started on 22nd September and will remain open until 29th October, while the consultation on the proposed South Irish Sea project will open in the coming weeks.