wind power generation

The fossil fuel industry lost out on almost €1 billion last year – with an additional €300 million saved on carbon credits – as a new record was set for wind power generation in Ireland.

Wind farms provided some 35% of the island of Ireland’s electricity, totalling a record-breaking 13,725 gigawatt-hours (GWh) according to Wind Energy Ireland’s annual report.

The report found that without wind energy, Ireland would have had to spend an additional €918 million on gas last year, most of which would have been imported. 

That would have been on top of an extra €358 million on carbon credits to burn that gas. A further €279 million was saved in Northern Ireland.

It is also estimated that wind farms in Ireland saved approximately 4.2 million tonnes of carbon in 2023, roughly the same as that produced by almost 2 million cars.

The total amount saved on gas of nearly €1.3 billion was down on the €2 billion saved in 2022 due to much lower wholesale gas prices over the past year.

Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland, explained that electricity generated from Irish wind farms replaces imported fossil fuels.

“The more wind we can get on the electricity grid, the less we rely on imported gas and the more we can cut our carbon emissions and keep that money at home,” he said.

“Our members can be proud of the role Irish wind farms are playing in supporting Irish electricity consumers and reducing our carbon emissions. It is a true success story, and we are on the way to an energy independent future for Ireland.”

But Mr Cunniffe said that we cannot build the wind farms we need to achieve energy independence without a planning system that is fit for purpose.

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