Wind energy central to Climate Action Plan

17 Jun 2019

The Irish Wind Energy Association, the country’s largest renewable energy organisation, has welcomed the central role for wind energy in the Government's Climate Action Plan and highlighted the electricity sector’s potential to save 8 million tonnes of CO2 a year by 2030.

Dr David Connolly, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association, said: “For the first time we have an all of Government vision for how we can decarbonise Ireland’s energy system.

“Wind energy, already providing 29 per cent of Ireland’s electricity which is the second highest share worldwide, is at the heart of today’s plan with targets set for 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy and to more than double our onshore wind generation capacity to more than 8 GW.

“We know our industry can deliver these targets and we are eager to get to work making the vision set out in today’s plan a reality.”

Electrification of heat and transport

Dr Connolly also welcomed proposals for the electrification of heat and transport.

Dr Connolly continued: “The Government’s clear commitment to supporting Irish families to switch from gas boilers to heat pumps and from diesel cars to electric vehicles shows they understand electrification is central to cutting CO2 emissions.

“If we can work together, increasing our capacity to produce renewable electricity while finding new ways to use electricity to heat our homes and fuel our cars, then we can achieve the Government’s target to provide 70 per cent of our electricity through renewables by 2030.

“This could cut CO2 emissions in the electricity sector from the current 12 million tonnes per annum to 4 million tonnes, which would be a significant contribution to cutting our emissions and restoring Ireland’s credibility as a leader in the fight against climate change.”

European welcome

Ireland's Climate Action Plan also received a warm welcome further afield with strong support from Wind Europe for the Government's propsoals.

Wind Europe's Head of Advocacy & Messaging Viktoriya Kereleska said: "It’s excellent news that the Irish Government is ramping up its ambition on renewables. They’re now aiming for 70 per cent renewable electricity by 2030, up from 55 per cent. This means more than doubling onshore wind to 8.2 GW.

"And they’re really going for it on offshore wind too, with a target of at least 3.5 GW by 2030.The Irish Sea offers excellent conditions for offshore wind with strong and stable winds, so it makes sense to make the most of this resource.

"What is also good is that the Irish Government takes active steps on the electrification of heating and transport. They’ve announced measures to help consumers switch from gas boilers to heat pumps and from diesel cars to electric vehicles – they’re planning a charging network capable of catering for 800,000 electric vehicles by 2030.

"As countries start to finalise their National Energy & Climate Plans for 2030, Ireland is showing the way not only in its ambition on renewables but also the policies to make this ambition a reality. Other countries should take note."


In 2018 wind energy provided 29 per cent of Ireland’s electricity and 37 per cent in Quarter One of 2019.

The SEAI reports that in 2017 alone wind energy cut our CO2 emissions by 2.7 million tonnes and saved the Irish economy more than €220 million in fossil fuel imports.