Irish consumers would be forking out a lot more on energy costs if wind energy wasn't on the grid.
A new cost-benefit analysis of the resource, commissioned by the Irish Wind Energy Association, shows its net cost each year was less than €1 per person since the year 2000.
Wind energy provides around 30% of all energy in Ireland.
Dr Mark Turner from Baringa, who carried out the study, says that because oil and gas prices are so high, wind energy actually works to reduce the overall cost of energy on the consumer.
“While consumers generally understand a portion of the PSO levy on their electricity bill is used to support renewable energy they are less conscious of the role wind energy has in driving down the price of electricity,” he said.
“Every day electricity generators, fossil fuel and renewable, compete against each other in an auction to provide power to the suppliers who sell it on to homes and businesses. The more wind energy on the system, the more it pushes out fossil fuel generators that are much more costly to run.
“We used our advanced power market models to calculate how much wind energy is reducing the wholesale price of electricity and found this ranged from 5% to 20%, depending on the year.
“As more wind energy is added, the savings typically increase, so the largest reductions are occurring right now across the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.”
“These benefits will continue well into the future too, for as long as wind keeps generating energy.”