A site in Bruckhana, Co Tipperary, is set to be transformed into a 40-megawatt wind farm by Bord na Móna, Ireland’s Energy Minister Pat Rabbitte, TD, has announced.
Ireland has challenging EU renewable-energy targets to meet by 2020, which includes meeting 40pc of electricity demand from renewable sources.
Speaking at the latest wind-farm announcement, Rabbitte said that the country is making progress towards hitting this target.
He said that the development of wind-energy generation of the scale at Bruckhana will be “crucial” for maintaining the rate of build necessary to achieve Ireland’s EU targets.
“Ireland is fortunate to have some of the best renewable energy resources in Europe,” said Rabbitte.
For Ireland to lower its dependence on imported fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions, he said that wind-energy development also holds the potential for Ireland to become an exporter of renewable energy, alluding to the East-West Interconnector that EirGrid has built.
It means that one day Ireland could be in a position to export excess electricity generated by wind to the UK, if the Intergovernmental Agreement between the Irish and British governments goes ahead.
This week, Rabbitte launched the first stage of a consultation process on the Renewable Energy Export and Development Framework.
The approval of any proposed large-scale renewable energy export projects must await the putting in place of this framework, he said.
“I recognise the significance of the announcement Bord na Móna has made here today regarding their Clean Energy Hub. I urge them, and all other prospective developers, to fully engage with this consultation process.”
The current public consultation on the Renewable Energy Export and Development Framework is the first of three public consultations on the framework. Written submissions on the framework, including key environmental issues, that will be addressed in the Strategic Environmental Assessment process, may be made by 22 November.
The 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive set Ireland a legally binding target of meeting 16pc of its energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020.
As regards this target, Ireland has committed to meeting 40pc of electricity demand, 12pc of heating and 10pc of transport power from renewable sources.
Wind-turbine image via Shutterstock