Wind blowing in right direction as clean energy drive remains on target

IRELAND is still on target to meet 40% of its electricity production through renewable energy in the next decade, Energy Minister Eamon Ryan insisted yesterday.

A report on renewable energy launched yesterday noted that a massive increase in winds at 6am on April 5 this year had managed to generate some 50% of Ireland’s electricity demand at one moment. This was a world record, the report said.

The record power generated has attracted international attention, so much so that US secretary of energy Steven Chu has asked to meet wind energy engineers here when he visits Ireland next month, the minister revealed.

Mr Ryan said that increased investment in wind power and the development of the country’s energy grid would create more jobs and in the long run get a better return for the state.

Ireland’s electricity grid operator, EirGrid, said up to 14% of the country’s power last year was generated from renewable sources.

The group’s report claims Ireland is on target to have one of the highest levels of wind power penetration in Europe, beating set levels in Germany, Britain, France and the Netherlands.

EirGrid chief executive Dermot Byrne said renewable sources like peat and wind were now an essential part of sourcing power.

But the Irish Wind Energy Association warned yesterday at its own conference in Galway that the delivery of more than 80% of proposed renewable energy projects were being threatened by ‘red-tape’.

The association called for the Government to establish an energy Czar, a director of policy implementation that would report directly to the Energy Minister to ensure the sector is efficiently and economically developed.


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