Wind energy became Ireland’s number one source of electricity for a full quarter for the first time during the first three months of 2020.
Figures released from the SEAI this week showed that during Q1 2020 wind energy provided 3,390 GWh of electricity (43.8 per cent of demand) compared to 3,234 GWh for natural gas (41.8 per cent).
Dr David Connolly, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association, said: “Today’s figures show that it is only a matter of time before wind energy is Ireland’s number one source of electricity.
“Last year was a record-breaking year for the industry as we provided a third of the country’s electricity demand. The first three months of 2020 show that we are well on track to beat that record.
“More wind power means less carbon emissions. It means less fossil fuel imports. It means more jobs and more investment in Ireland.”
Call on Government
Dr Connolly continued: “It is essential, if we are to build on this success, that the next Government prioritises reforming our planning system so we can develop wind energy off our coasts and ensures that the new Wind Energy Guidelines enable us to build the next generation of onshore wind farms.
“It is the next Government that must ensure we have the right policies and the right strategies to enable industry to reach the target set out in the Climate Action Plan to provide 70 per cent of Ireland’s electricity from renewable energy by 2030.
“It can take eight to 12 years to develop a wind farm in Ireland. This means that any Government serious about our 2030 targets has – at most – only a couple of years to make the right policy choices to grow Ireland’s renewable energy industry and turn this country into a leader in the fight against climate change.”