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Ireland on track for 2020 renewable energy goal after strong second quarter for wind energy

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A strong result by Ireland’s wind industry in the second quarter means that Ireland is now on track to meet its 2020 renewable energy goal of 40 percent renewable energy.

Figures released by the Irish Wind Energy Association show that wind supplied 28.5 percent of Ireland’s electricity during April, May and June and is overall at 36.8 percent for the first half of the year.

“Ireland is number one in the world for the share of electricity demand met by onshore wind. Last year we broke records by providing a third of the country’s electricity and, along with smaller contributions from other renewables, we are now clearly on track to reach Ireland’s 40 per cent 2020 renewable electricity target. More wind power means less carbon emissions. It means fewer fossil fuel imports. It means more jobs and more investment in Ireland.”

Dr. David Connolly, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association.

The second quarter of 2020 included the best month of June on record for electricity generation. Two new wind farms were linked, and a further 136 MW of wind energy was given planning permission.

The decision of the Supreme Court quashing the proposal of the government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions means that a new strategy is needed to allow Ireland to create a zero-carbon society by 2050.

“Wind energy will be Ireland’s number one source of electricity in five years. As we electrify heat and transport the need to develop more renewable electricity and to do it more quickly is only going to grow more urgent.

“It is essential, if we are to play our part in the fight against climate change, that the Government prioritises reforming our planning system so we can develop wind energy off our coasts and ensures that the new Wind Energy Guidelines enable us to build the next generation of onshore wind farms.

“It is this Government that must ensure we have the right policies and the right strategies to enable industry to reach the target set out in the Climate Action Plan to provide 70 per cent of Ireland’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030 and to go even further to a decarbonised energy system.”

Dr. David Connolly, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association.

Although Q2 2020 was another good quarter for the wind industry there is concern about increasing rates of downstream dispatch–where wind farms are shut down or off as the grid attempts to cope with large volumes of renewable generation.

“EirGrid and ESB Networks are world leaders in integrating renewable electricity on Ireland’s transmission system. But with more renewable power connecting every month we must strengthen our grid to take power from new wind farms and solar farms.

“We know that EirGrid and ESBN Networks have the skills and experience, but the Government needs to ensure they have the resources and the support they need to build a transmission system fit for Ireland’s energy revolution.”

Dr. David Connolly, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association.
Nedim Husomanovic

Circular economy and offshore wind

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