According to data from EirGrid, Ireland’s wind farms hit a new record power output level of 1250 megawatts, enough to power over 800,000 homes around Ireland.
“We have seen records in 2010 broken where there were times when we delivered over half of the electricity in Ireland from wind generators,” comments Michael Walsh, chief executive of Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA). “As we continue to grow this sector in 2011, we are developing knowledge and skills that the rest of the world will need in the coming decade. Ireland is leading the way and showing that high wind levels are achievable which brings with it opportunities to advance Ireland’s strategies for economic renewal.”
Ireland currently has 1425MW of installed wind energy across the Republic, with over 1100MW contracted and 3900MW receiving grid connections in the next phase of Grid Connections, Gate 3. Outside of this there is more than 11GW of wind energy projects awaiting Grid connection showing the significant pipeline and opportunity to be harnessed.
“In the simplest terms, such are the opportunities ahead for us that we can export as much renewable energy as we use by 2020. If generation capacity is met, we could export up to 5,000 MW of renewable energy generation in ten years, which will be more or less what we will require ourselves. These resources could generate an annual export value of over €2 billion for Ireland,” he says.