Wind energy provided a record 32pc of Ireland’s electricity in April

9 May 2022

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Wind Energy Ireland said this was the strongest ever April for wind energy but that Ireland still has a reliance on expensive fossil fuel imports.

Irish wind energy has reached new records, providing 32pc of the country’s electricity last month, according to a new report by Wind Energy Ireland.

The representative group for the Irish wind energy industry said this is a 7pc increase compared to April 2021 and is the most power ever provided by wind in the month of April.

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Wind Energy Ireland added that it follows a strong first quarter of 2022, where wind provided around 39pc of Ireland’s electricity.

“Every month wind energy is cutting our carbon emissions and helping to insulate Irish consumers from the worst effects of our dependence on expensive imported gas,” Wind Energy Ireland CEO Noel Cunniffe said.

“Every new windfarm and solar farm connecting to the electricity system helps to make Ireland more energy independent.”

The Wind Energy Ireland report said the volume of wind energy produced in April helped to push down the average wholesale price of electricity to €218.26, a reduction from the record high costs in March.

However, it added that this is still a 155pc increase in price compared to April 2021, reflecting Ireland’s reliance on expensive imported fossil fuels.

“We need to accelerate the development of clean, cheap, renewable energy to push fossil fuels out of the electricity market,” Cunniffe said.

“Our planning system must be reformed and properly resourced to ensure that the renewable energy projects needed by the Climate Action Plan can get properly, but quickly, examined and we can move forward with getting those projects built.”

Wind Energy Ireland has been calling on Government to take increased measures to help develop Ireland’s offshore windfarms, a move that could present an economic opportunity as well as an environmental one.

Ireland has set a goal to generate 5GW of offshore wind energy by 2030, which could more than double the country’s current onshore and offshore wind power capacity.

But some in the industry have called on the Government to increase its 2030 wind ambitions. SSE Renewables director of development Maria Ryan told the Government earlier this year that it “shouldn’t settle for 5GW by the end of the decade”.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic

editorial@siliconrepublic.com