Wind energy meets target of supplying 50% of electricity needs

Wind energy fulfilled a record 50% of Ireland’s electricity needs at times over the past six months, according to the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA).

On average, wind energy supplied 23% of the electricity market in the December 2013 to May 2014 period, which is the highest level ever for the sector.

This year is expected to see a very significant increase in the sector’s potential output, with approximately 350MW of additional capacity coming on stream, adding enough new wind energy to power more than 225,000 additional houses, and coming on top of the existing Irish wind capacity of over 2,000MW.

“The role for clean, Irish wind energy in meeting our electricity demand continues to grow,” said Kenneth Matthews, CEO of the IWEA.

“Wind energy has firmly established itself as a reliable and integral part of our energy mix, reducing the unsustainable levels of importing 85% of our fossil fuels, protecting the environment and delivering significant revenues and investment into the Irish economy,”

But further improvements are needed to the planning and regulatory frameworks for the future development of the wind energy sector, said Mr Matthews.

“As the first months of 2014 have shown, we have an abundance of wind energy in Ireland which can help us curb our costly addiction to foreign fossil fuel imports, create jobs, attract local investment and avoid substantial EU fines by hitting our EU emissions targets.

“But we cannot take this for granted and must ensure that the clear focus and momentum remains on achieving our 2020 targets and planning towards 2030 and beyond.

“In realising this potential, we must of course engage in an open and frank discussion, based on fact and not fiction.

“We would encourage families across the country to experience wind energy at first hand and to learn more about this clean and guaranteed Irish energy source,” added Mr Matthews.

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