September 2, 2020

Ireland is currently on track to reach its 2020 clean power target

Climate Change Future Energy

The Irish Wind Energy Association has stated that a solid second quarter for the wind sector means the country should reach its 40% renewable energy target. According to recent findings, the wind industry generated nearly 29% of the nation’s electricity during this period.

The figures released by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) indicate that wind provided 28.5% during the second quarter, a slight increase from 26.1% for the same period last year. David Connolly, the CEO of IWEA highlighted that Ireland is currently the number one nation in terms of its share of electricity demand provided by onshore wind. Connolly explained in the last year Ireland has broken several records by generating a third of the nation’s electricity and combined with contributions from other renewable sources, Ireland is well on track to meet its 2020 target.

Higher wind generation means reduced carbon emissions, fewer fossil fuel imports and more jobs and investment for Ireland. Two new wind sites with a combined capacity of 34MW were installed during the summer period, with an additional 136MW of wind energy gaining planning permission during Q2. According to the IWEA, total installed capacity in Ireland now stands at over 4.2GW. The wind industry generated 1,844 MWh during this period, which is a slightly smaller figure compared to the previous year, but was largely related to a reduced demand caused by Covid-19.

The IWEA highlights that at the end of July the Supreme Court removed government plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which means a new plan is required to allow Ireland to deliver a zero-carbon society by 2050. 

Connolly explains that wind energy will represent Ireland’s main source of electricity within the next five years. Connolly highlights that it is critical that to tackle climate change we ensure our government prioritises the reforming of our planning system to enable further wind development, both onshore and offshore. 

It is up to this government to create the right policies and strategies to enable industries to meet the targets created in the Climate Action Plan and work towards a decarbonised energy system in Ireland.