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IWEA Facts Video

In 2012 wind energy in Ireland accounted for 15.5% of our electricity needs. With wind energy being a major contributor to the power system here in Ireland it is natural for people to ask questions about the facts surrounding the sector. IWEA as the industry voice is committed to ensuring that the Irish public have the most up-to-date factual information on wind energy. As IWEA turns 20 years old, we are delighted to launch this wind facts video which we hope will be a valuable resource for the wind industry and public alike.

Full references and calculations for the facts along with links to original sources can be found below the video

Video by Cristina Chapman  www.cristinachapman.co.uk

List of Facts included in the video

1) The Island of Ireland has over 2,000 Megawatts of installed wind capacity
2) This is equivalent to the energy required to power approximately 1.3 million homes
3) At particular time intervals, wind has produced enough power to meet 50% of Irish electricity demand
4) A standard wind turbine can power 13,479 fridges
5) A standard wind turbine can power 28,000,000 kettles
6) A standard wind turbine produces as much energy as 16,000 solar panels
7) 16,000 solar panels covers an area over twice the size of the playing pitch at Croke Park
8) A wind turbine generates the amount of energy used in its’ construction within six months of becoming operational
9) A wind turbine can generate energy for at least 25 years
10) A standard wind turbine displaces 2,365 tonnes of CO2 per year
11) 2,365 tonnes of CO2 is equivalent to 45,000 road trips between Belfast and Cork
12) The use of renewables in Ireland in 2011 avoided emissions of 3.6 million tonnes of CO2.
13) Wind turbines don’t use water to generate power
14) A standard wind turbine saves 174,000 bath tubs of water per year
15) BirdWatch Ireland is highly supportive of efforts to find renewable energy sources to address our existing dependency on fossil fuels
16) Wind turbines cause 0.01% of bird fatalities annually
17) Collisions with buildings account for 58% of bird deaths annually in the US.
18) Modern Wind Turbines are extremely quiet
19) Wind generation in 2011 reduced Ireland’s wholesale market cost of electricity by around €74 million. This saving offset the other costs associated with the generation of wind energy. Cost Neutral to the Irish Consumer
20) In 2011, Renewable Generation supplied Ireland with 18% of its electricity demand
21) 87% of Irish people believe that efficient use of natural resources can boost economic growth
22) The newly launched East-West Interconnector connects the Irish & UK Grids
23) The 500 MW interconnector capacity equates to enough electricity to power 300,000 homes
24) This paves the way for Ireland to trade renewable energy with the UK
25) 94% of Irish people feel that the environment is important to them personally
26) The majority of visitors  to Ireland see wind energy as a positive development
27) 71% of EU citizens support wind energy
28) Ireland imports approx €6billion of fossil fuel each year
29) The use of renewables accounted for a saving of nearly €300 million on gas imports to Ireland in 2011

 List of sources, references and calculations


1) EirGrid Press Release March 23 2011
http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Press%20Release%20%20Ireland%20passes%20key%20renewable%20milestone.pdf

2) EirGrid Press Release March 23 2011
http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Press%20Release%20%20Ireland%20passes%20key%20renewable%20milestone.pdf


3) EirGrid Annual Renewable Report 2012 Towards a Smart, Sustainable Energy Future
    http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Annual%20Renewable%20Report%202012.pdf

4) Energy generated by a standard 2.3MW turbine 5,500MWh per annum.( Energy generated by a standard 2.3MW wind turbine assuming a load factor of 28% and availability of 97% availability is approximately 5,500MWh per annum. [2.3MW x 8,760 hours/year x 28% x 97% = 5,472MWh]  A typical “A rated” fridge freezer consumes 408kWh per annum (http://www.carbonfootprint.com/energyconsumption.html ) therefore a wind turbine powers 13,479 fridges [5,500,000 / 408 = 13,479]

5) Energy generated by a standard 2.3MW turbine 5,500MWh per annum (as per source 4) A typical household kettle is 3KW and takes 4 minutes to boil (www.boilersense.co.uk ) using approximately 0.2kWh of electricity [4/60 * 3KW = 0.2] therefore a wind turbine provides enough energy to boil approximately 28,000,000 kettles [5,500,000 ÷ 0.2 = 27.5m]

6) UK based Sharp’s 250W photovoltaic panels have an advertised 15.2% efficiency (www.sharp.co.uk ) providing an annual energy output of approximately 0.33MWh [0.25kW *15% *8,760 hours = 330kWh] and it would require 16,667 panels to produce 5,500MWh [5,500 / 0.33 = 16,667].

7) The dimensions of the Croke Park Hurling/Football pitch are 144m x 86m (http://www.crokepark.ie/About/Pitch )  giving the pitch an area of 12,384 square metres. The Sharp NU-R250 solar panel has an area of 1.64 square metres (www.sharp.co.uk ) and therefore 16,667 panels (per source 7)would require a total area of 27,334 square metres enough to cover the Croke Park pitch 2.2 times [27,334 / 12,384 = 2.2].

8) Turbine manufacturer Enercon(http://www.enercon.de/p/downloads/WB_02-2012_en_web.pdf )

9) The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), 2011 http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/11/meeting-energy-demand/wind/5197-onshore-wind-faqs.pdf )

10) Energy generated by a standard 2.3MW turbine 5,500MWh per annum (per source 4). UK electricity produces on average 430g of CO2 per kWh (per the Advertising Standards Authority assuming that the energy generated by the wind turbines displaces Combined Cycle Gas Turbines. A wind turbine generates 5,500MWh per annum displacing 2,365 tonnes of CO2 [5,500MWh x 0.43kg = 2,365 tonnes]

11) A turbine displaces 2,365 tonnes of CO2 per annum (per source …) which is the equivalent of 45,090 trips from Belfast to Cork based upon a journey of 423km (www.aaireland.ie) and the average CO2 emissions from a Ford Focus is 0.124kg of CO2/km (www.ford.co.uk). [2,365 / 0.124 x 423 = 45,090]

12) SEAI 2012 Report Energy in Ireland 1990 – 2011
http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/Energy_in_Ireland/Energy_in_Ireland_1990_-_2011.pdf

13) Global Wind Energy Council 2012 (http://www.gwec.net/publications/global-wind-energy-outlook/global-wind-energy-outlook-2012/  )

14) Conventional power uses 2.53 cubic metres or 2,530 litres of water per MWh generated (Average of Coal 3.2, Gas 1.7 and Nuclear 2.7 per Global Wind Energy Council (http://www.gwec.net/world-water-day-2012-save-water-wind-power/  ). The annual energy produced by a wind turbine is 5,500 MWh without using any water (per source 11). An average bath uses 80 litres of water (http://www.anglianwater.co.uk/news/general/7A6B2E0C202D4E60ADA9B8D6DAF874CB.aspx  )therefore a wind turbine saves the equivalent of 173,937 bath tubs per annum compared to conventional power. [5,500MWh x 2,530 litres / 80 litre average bath = 173,937]

15) Bird Watch Ireland http://www.birdwatchireland.ie/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=NWfEdDLTqCw=&tabid=85

16) Centre for Sustainable Energy, 2011 and USDA Forest Service, 2005

17) Centre for Sustainable Energy, 2011

18) National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia in 2010

19) SEAI Study on the Impact of Wind Generation on Wholesale Electricity Costs in 2011 http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Energy_Modelling_Group_/Energy_Modelling_Group_Publications/Impact_of_Wind_Generation_on_Wholesale_Electricity_Costs_in_2011.pdf

20) EirGrid Annual Renewable Report 2012
http://www.eirgrid.com/media/Annual%20Renewable%20Report%202012.pdf

21) Special Eurobarometer 365 – EB75.2 Attitudes of European citizens towards the environment http://ec.europa.eu/environment/pdf/EB_PresentationEB752.pdf

22) http://www.eirgridprojects.com/projects/east-westinterconnector/

23) http://www.eirgridprojects.com/projects/east-westinterconnector/

24) http://www.eirgridprojects.com/projects/east-westinterconnector/

25) Special Eurobarometer 365 – EB75.2 Attitudes of European citizens towards the environment http://ec.europa.eu/environment/pdf/EB_PresentationEB752.pdf

26) 2008 Bord Failte Study http://www.failteireland.ie/FailteIreland/media/WebsiteStructure/Documents/3_Research_Insights/4_Visitor_Insights/Visitor-Attitudes-on-the-Environment.pdf?ext=.pdf

27) Eurobarometer opinion survey on energy technologies 2007. http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_262_en.pdf

28) SEAI 2012 Report Energy in Ireland 1990 – 2011
http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/Energy_in_Ireland/Energy_in_Ireland_1990_-_2011.pdf

29) SEAI 2012 Report Energy in Ireland 1990 – 2011
http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/Energy_in_Ireland/Energy_in_Ireland_1990_-_2011.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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