According to the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), the national body representing the wind energy sector in Ireland, the European Union has passed the milestone of installing 100 gigawatts (GW) of wind power capacity.
Of the total figure 100 GW, wind farm installations on the island of Ireland have contributed 2127 megawatts (MW) of wind power capacity which can generate electricity over a year to meet the total consumption of approximately 1.53 million Irish households. Ireland now ranks in the top ten of best producers of wind energy in Europe.
Speaking about this, Kenneth Matthews, CEO of IWEA said: “This is a historic achievement for Europe and Ireland in particular. A few decades ago, it was unimaginable to think that such large amounts of renewable energy would be created from wind power. Ireland has one of the best wind regimes in Europe and policy makers, industry and communities have worked tirelessly to ensure this potential is realised.”
To produce the same amount of electricity as 2127 MW of wind turbines in a year you would have to:
- Mine, transport and burn approximately 1.9 million tonnes of coal in coal fired power plants, at a cost of €133 million, and emit 5.86 Metric Tonnes of CO2; or
- Extract, transport and burn approximately 1.1 million cubic meters of gas, at a cost of €201 million, and emit 2.61 Metric Tonnes of CO2.
“While Ireland still has a some way to go until its overall renewable energy potential is realised, the potential is there to not only reach its binding 2020 renewable energy targets but also to become a net exporter of renewable energy. Wind power has so much to offer Ireland in terms of green jobs, investment, and energy security”, Matthews concluded.
Recent wind turbine installations in Ireland contributing to the 100 GW milestone include:
- Caher Downey Wind Farm, 9.2MW developed by Energia Renewables in Cork
- Carrowleagh Wind Farm, 34.2MW developed by Powercon Wind Energy in Mayo
- Church Hill Wind Farm, 18.4MW developed by Energia Renewables in Tyrone
- Crighshane Wind Farm, 32.2MW developed by Energia Renewables in Tyrone
Established in 1993, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) is the national body representing the wind energy sector in Ireland. IWEA is committed to promoting the use of wind energy in Ireland and beyond as an economically viable and environmentally sound alternative to imported fossil fuels and promotes awareness and understanding of wind power as the primary renewable energy resource.
IWEA is also dedicated to education and awareness building, and to building the skills base of the renewable energy sector in Ireland. IWEA also supports the development of other renewable technology, particularly marine energy.
IWEA is Ireland’s leading renewable energy representative body representing more than 200 members involved in wind and renewable energy development in Ireland and Northern Ireland, through the Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG), set up in collaboration with Renewable UK. IWEA acts as a central point for information for its membership as well as a representative group to promote wind energy to key stakeholders. IWEA’s Council consists of 26 members and is made up of elected and corporate members. IWEA is entirely self-funded and relies on the support of its members.
For more information on: IWEA