Chambers Ireland has expressed grave concerns about the institutional capacity of Government departments and planning agencies when it comes to facilitating offshore energy projects that can help Ireland meet targets within the timelines that are needed.

The organisation has also described the Government's draft Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan II as too conservative.

As a result, it says, it is likely that it will prevent the State from achieving its 2030 emission reduction targets.

The plan, it claims, will act as another institutional bottleneck that will further delay the development of the offshore renewable energy industry that is needed to develop the windfarms.

The analysis is contained in Chambers Ireland’s submission as part of a consultation process run by the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications around the draft plan.

The blueprint, when finalised, will act as Ireland’s new national spatial strategy for offshore renewable energy.

"The approach taken by the Department in this Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan II is in many ways more conservative than the original plan (i.e. excluding Irish Sea waters where were included in the 2013 plan) and is likely to act as a further bottleneck in the process of activating our offshore renewable energy resources," said Shane Conneely, Head of Policy at the Chamber.

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"We have grave concerns that this draft plan is not flexible enough to account for the dynamic technology environment which it is attempting to regulate."

The submission also claims there is a lack of integration between the ambitions of the green energy targets and the policies framed in the draft plan.

It says the State must support the upgrading of the country’s national transmission network through greater investment in the physical capital of the grid, the technical capacity of the regulatory authorities, and the resourcing of planning and adjudication bodies.

The response also claims the maps being used by the State to select areas appropriate for development in Irish waters are extremely limited and speak to a capacity constraint within the department.

"The ambition of this plan is not aligned with EU priorities regarding the need to expand our renewable energy generation capacity and is so conservative in its approach that it is likely to prevent our state from successfully achieving our 2030 Climate targets," said Mr Conneely.

"If the plan is implemented as it is currently outlined we will not be seeing the targeted 5GW of offshore energy in Irish waters by 2030."

The consultation phase around the draft plan ended at midnight.

Shane Conneely told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that although they support decarbonisation targets, long term security of supply is an issue for members.

Mr Connelly described the Government's plan as conservative and "retrograde in some ways".

He noted that areas in the second part of the plan do not include areas covered in the first plan, which means that businesses that investigated windfarms and spent time, money and energy doing so were "wasting their time" over the last decade.

He added that there is a culture of risk adversity, and that the planning system needed to prepare specifically for this or else cases will get caught up in the courts.

"What we are asking them to do is treat an emergency like an emergency. It's also an opportunity, to place the climate action crisis as it is and we are not yet doing that," he said.

"We need to see greater resourcing and technically competent people placed in charge of making planning decisions. We shouldn’t be fearing judicial reviews," he added.