todayAugust 27, 2022
It is becoming increasingly clear that the development of renewable energy is essential to our path to Net-Zero. Wind energy offers many advantages, so it is no surprise that it’s one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the world.
Wind energy provides a clean and sustainable solution to our energy problems. The main advantage of using wind energy in our battle with climate change is that wind energy doesn’t pollute the air. Unlike power plants that rely on the combustion of fossil fuels and have high carbon emissions, wind energy can be used to create electricity without releasing greenhouse gases.
As wind will always exist, this type of energy is inexhaustible, meaning no matter how much we use it, it will never run out.
Ireland is a country that utilises wind energy efficiently. In Ireland the average wind speeds are generally high compared to mainland Europe, these wind speeds give Ireland a great opportunity to create electricity in a green way.
“We have an incredible natural resource for wind energy here in Ireland…”
With just under four hundred wind farms across the country, wind energy is a growing sector in Ireland and Northern Ireland, creating jobs and benefiting communities. https://windenergyireland.com/about-wind/facts-stats
The small island is one of the leading countries in its use of wind energy, sitting in second place worldwide after Denmark. Wind energy is the largest contributing source of renewable energy in Ireland. In 2020 wind provided over 86% of Ireland’s renewable electricity and 36% of total electricity demand. This year also saw Ireland reach a new Wind Generation Record of 4,489MW.
As our battle with climate change is reaching a critical point, many people believe that we should be utilising the power of wind energy more. Wind energy has the potential to generate enough electricity every year to power all the homes in Ireland. https://windenergyireland.com/about-wind/facts-stats
“In future as we electrify, it will not only power our day-to-day lives but also heat our homes through heat pumps, and power our journeys through electric vehicles.”
ESB, Ireland’s main electricity company have an ambitious project to help Ireland achieve their Net-Zero targets and power more homes using wind energy. Dubbed ‘Green Atlantic @ MoneyPoint’, is a multi-billion Euro programme that aims to transform the country to reliable, affordable, Net-Zero energy.
As part of the project, a new €50 million Sustainable System Support facility will be developed, making it the largest of its kind in the world. A floating offshore wind farm of 1,400MW will also be developed off the coast of western counties Clare and Kerry. It is anticipated that these wind farms will have the capacity to power more than 1.6m homes in Ireland.
This is just one of the many projects that are setting Ireland on track to power 3.75 million homes using wind energy by 2030.
Ireland is clearly on the right path to hitting its targets set out in the Climate Change Action plan, the utilisation of wind energy is helping them power homes using green energy. They have the ambition, but many people worry if they have the necessary funding, as to turn these ambitious plans into action is naturally going to require a lot of money.
“The scale of industrialisation to achieve this should not be underestimated, up to €100 billion might be needed for floating wind power investment, with €12 billion in supply change investment required to locate in the harbour.”
Mr Keating praised ESB’s ambitious Green Atlantic @ MoneyPoint project but warned that it must be given full attention and priority.
“I ask today for the [authorities] to put floating technology front and centre right now. If it’s not being put in place until 2030, we will not be right until 2038 or so.”
As we are still navigating through times of uncertainty with unrest in countries and rising prices due to inflation, saving costs of importing fossil fuels is another reason countries should be turning their attention to renewable sources of energy.
Renewable energy is a key tool we possess in our battle with climate change. Ireland is evidently a country that is leading by example with its use of wind as a renewable source of energy and we should all aim to follow suit.
Written by: Chloe C