The chief executive of EirGrid, Dermot Byrne, indeed referred to the 40% target of power from renewable energy: Mr O’Brien’s reference to a 75% target was incorrect. Mr Byrne, in his address to the Oireachtas Committee on Climate Change and Energy Security, referred to the maximum instantaneous penetration of windfarm output in real time – the “short period of time” referred to by Mr O’Brien – that the system can accommodate in a secure fashion, and not an average annual output.
Clearly, to get to an average annual figure of 40% we will need to get to much higher levels during high winds.
Ireland has already had 50% of the power system generation for a short period coming from wind on April 5 this year.
EirGrid believes Ireland’s target of 40% of electricity from renewable energy is entirely appropriate based on the challenges of climate change and our over-reliance on imported fuels.