In the first six months of 2016, wind energy has ‘saved’ Ireland €70 million in foreign energy imports.
According to figures compiled by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), domestic wind energy has met 22 percent of Ireland’s total electricity demand since the start of this year. The country’s overall wind capacity recently reached a record peak of 2,500MW — enough energy to power some 1.6 million homes.
On 28 January, wind energy output hit 2132MW for Ireland, representing almost 60 percent of electricity demand at that time.
“Apart from easing our dependency on fossil fuel imports, wind energy is delivering real tangible value to electricity consumers, is promoting significant investment and jobs in our communities, and is helping to protect our environment for future generations,” said Brian Dawson, Head of Communications at the IWEA.
At present, Ireland imports 85 percent of its energy, placing it 35 percent above the European average for energy imports.
Today, there are over 200 wind farms operating in Ireland, with the wind energy sector employing over 3,400 people nationwide, a figure which is projected to grow to over 8,000 by 2020.