Ireland at Forefront on Renewable Energy

Ireland is playing a lead role in Europe in adding wind power and other renewables to our energy supplies, a new report states. Ireland is on target to achieve its target of 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2020, and in achieving that target, we will have one of highest levels of wind power as a percentage of system demand in Europe, according to the EirGrid Annual Renewable Report.

At the end of 2009 there was 1526 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy installed in Ireland. This figure includes wind power (1260 MW), hydro (236 MW) and other small renewable energy sources (30 MW). By July this year, this had increased by a further 200MW of installed wind capacity. The amount of power generated from renewable sources in 2009 was over 14% and sufficient capacity is in place in Ireland to meet the target of 15% this year.

9 MW of wind generation was added to the power system in Northern Ireland during 2009 bringing the total installed capacity there to 301MW. During 2009, 8.7% of demand was supplied from wind generation. As a result, Northern Ireland has already achieved its renewables obligation of 6.3% by 2012/13. It is anticipated that a further 70 MW of wind generation will be connected in Northern Ireland by the end of 2010.

On the 5th of April, 2010 at 06:00am wind generation provided 50% of Ireland’s system demand. Total overall renewable output reached 55% at the same moment – another new system record,

This first EirGrid Group Annual Renewable Report offers an assessment of the progress made in the renewable energy space over the last 12-18 months and sets these developments in a broader international context. The report examines progress in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“Every year, Ireland sends €6 billion of public monies out of the country to pay for imported gas, oil and coal. This figure is unsustainable and must be reduced. The sure-fire, guaranteed way of doing this is by developing and using our own indigenous renewable energy,” says Energy Minister Eamon Ryan TD. “With the best resources in Europe, we can afford to be ambitious in our plans. Our overall national target of 40% renewable electricity will be reached and surpassed to the point of export, when Ireland’s wind and waves can bring money back into this country.”

He adds: “Government’s energy policy has set Ireland on a low-carbon path and key to this will be the improvement of our transmission grid. I commend EirGrid for the work it is doing in this regard and I look forward to seeing more renewables coming on stream in the months and years ahead.”

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