42% of Ireland’s electricity was generated from renewable sources in 2023 according to EirGrid.

EirGrid published its annual report for 2023 this week detailing the growth of renewables last year, and outlining the plan to reach 2030 goals of 80% capacity from green energy sources.

Wind energy is still the dominant source in Ireland’s renewable energy sector, accounting for 35.8% of Ireland’s electricity generation last year.

Other sources included hydropower at 2.7%, solar energy at 1.1%, and other renewable sources accounting for 2.4% of total electricity generation.

renewable sources such as solar, wind, and hydro

There was a strong growth of all renewable energy sources and technologies across both solar and wind power, as well as battery storage capacity.

Solar power saw a massive increase in capacity last year with 300MW of solar energy brought into use. 

Wind energy also grew substantially in 2023 with the addition of 150MW of new capacity, along with 75MW worth of Battery Storage capacity.

Last year also saw Ireland set a new record for wind energy generation, with a record 3,644MW recorded on January 12, 2023.

James Dorrian, Managing Director of EnergyEfficiency.ie said that the growth of wind and solar generation capacity is extremely encouraging. 

He highlighted the importance of microgeneration as a way to expand renewable energy generation while more utility scale solar and wind farms are coming online.

“One of the greatest strengths of solar power right now is the ability for huge amounts of capacity to be brought online with little to red tape through microgeneration.”

“Solar and Wind Farms have a huge part to play in decarbonising the grid and delivering a robust and sustainable future for Ireland’s electricity.”

“However, domestic solar panels can be installed on Irish households with no need for lengthy planning processes or regulatory approval. This makes it an excellent option, not just to save households money, but to get momentum on meeting our renewables targets.”

Solar panels - save money on electricity bills

Renewable Energy Targets

Ireland’s Climate Action Plan has set a goal of generating 80% of the country’s electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030, with overall electricity demand expected to increase by 50% in the same period.

This renewable energy capacity is expected to include 9GW of onshore wind, 5GW of offshore wind, and 8GW of solar power.

If delivered, this should see a 75% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from electricity generation by 2030 compared to 2018 levels.

The Chair of EirGrid Group, Brendan Tuohy, said: “EirGrid continues to deal with the dual challenge of decarbonising the electricity system to meet the Government’s targets for 2030 and beyond, whilst at the same time ensuring security of supply. 

“I am pleased to report that we had a very successful year, operating the electricity system safely and securely, despite challenging circumstances, whilst also progressing key elements of our EirGrid Strategy (2020-2025) to support meeting the Government’s climate ambitions.”

Offshore wind should begin to pick up steam in the coming years, as the first ever Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme auction took place last June.

Martin Corrigan, Interim Chief Executive Officer, said: “EirGrid Group’s Annual Report shows a clear momentum, particularly in terms of the delivery of significant projects which will play a key role in achieving our purpose of transforming the electricity system for future generations.”

Briain Kelly

RENEWABLE ENERGY RESEARCHER

Briain Kelly is a Leinster based journalist and content creator who has been writing about energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies for nearly three years. He researches the latest news in multiple areas related to solar power, electric vehicles, heat pumps, and home energy upgrades. His writing includes both technological developments and government policy.

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