May 20, 2020

Wind replaces natural gas as Ireland's top source of electricity

Wind Energy in Ireland

According to a report by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, wind power has exceeded natural gas as Ireland’s main source of electricity generation for a full quarter for the first time ever.

Electricity generated from wind turbines provided over 43% of the total energy requirements between January and March, compared to 37% in the same period of the previous year. Natural gas, which for some time has represented the main source for generating electricity in Ireland provided just under 42% for the same period. 

David Connolly, the CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association explains that the significant growth in energy generation from wind turbines still isn’t happening quick enough to meet the 2030 goals set by the Government. This includes a target of 70% of electricity coming directly from renewable energy sources.

Connolly states that it can take nearly ten years to construct and complete a wind site in Ireland. This means that in order to realistically meet the 2030 targets requires relatively efficient execution of policy plans. The electricity generated by wind turbines during the first quarter of 2020 exceeded 3,300 gigawatt hours. This is the equivalent to the average annual energy consumption of over 700,000 properties. In contrast, natural gas produced 3,234 gigawatt hours.

Electricity generated by wind turbines in the first quarter totalled 3,390 gigawatt hours (GWh) – equivalent to the average annual consumption of 737,000 homes. Natural gas produced 3,234 GWh.