Ireland is playing a lead role in Europe in adding wind power and other renewables to its energy supplies, according to a new report.
The EirGrid Annual Renewable Report, launched by Energy Minister Eamon Ryan, says Ireland “is on target to achieve its target of 40pc 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.”
Speaking at the launch, Ryan said: “Every year, Ireland sends €6bn 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.”
Best resources in Europe
Commending EirGrid, Ryan added that Ireland must be ambitious and utilise what he terms "the best resources in Europe" in order to surpass its national targets and begin to export energy.
“With the best resources in Europe, we can afford to be ambitious in our plans. Our overall national target of 40pc 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. 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,” he said.
The report said Ireland has some of the best globally untapped renewable energy resources in the world and that using these will enable the island to reduce its dependency on fossil fuel imports, ensure a reliable long-term energy supply, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance its economic competitiveness.