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Irish wind farms generate 34% of electricity in the first half of 2024

The latest Wind Energy report from Wind Energy Ireland reveals that wind farms provided 34% of Ireland's electricity in the first half of 2024. This impressive statistic underscores the growing role of renewable energy in Ireland's power generation mix.

In June 2024 alone, wind power generation reached 771 gigawatt-hours (GWh), marking the third-highest output for a June on record. This substantial contribution met 25% of Ireland's electricity demand for the month, representing a 5% increase compared to June 2023. Additionally, solar power and other renewable sources contributed an extra 8% to the country's electricity supply.

Regional leaders in wind energy

Kerry emerged as the top source of wind energy in Ireland last month, generating 90 GWh and accounting for 12% of the nation's wind power. Cork followed closely with 82 GWh, while Galway, Donegal, and Tipperary produced 67 GWh, 52 GWh, and 47 GWh, respectively.

Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland, commented on the sector's performance, saying, "The first half of the year has been strong for Irish wind farms, which have supplied just over a third of our electricity so far this year. That is clean electricity produced in Ireland to power our homes and businesses while cutting our carbon emissions."

The role of solar and other renewables

Cunniffe also highlighted the significant role of other renewables: "It is really positive to see the strong performance of solar energy and other renewables last month as part of our renewable energy mix. Every time a wind turbine or solar panel generates electricity, it reduces our reliance on imported fossil fuels, helps push down wholesale electricity prices, and increases our supply of clean energy to local communities."



Source: Wind Energy Ireland



Urgent need for wind farm repowering

Wind Energy Ireland's report coincides with the release of the 'Repowering Ireland' report, which raises concerns about the future of many of the country's wind farms. According to research by MKO, 76 wind farms with a combined installed capacity of 854 MW will reach the end of their planning permission by 2030, posing a risk of shutdown without urgent government intervention.

Cunniffe stressed the importance of repowering existing wind farms: "Ireland can be a leader in Europe’s energy revolution. We have the natural resources, the project pipelines, and the ambition to deliver a zero-carbon society. We need to enable our existing wind farms, which are reaching the end of their planning permission, to continue supplying affordable, clean power to Irish families and businesses."

Economic impact of wind energy

The June Wind Energy report also sheds light on the economic benefits of wind power. The average wholesale price of electricity in Ireland in June 2024 was €107.74 per megawatt-hour (MWh). On days with significant wind power, the average cost per MWh dropped to €86.78, whereas it spiked to €125.98 on days predominantly reliant on fossil fuels.

These findings are based on data from EirGrid’s SCADA system, compiled by MullanGrid, market data from ElectroRoute, and SEMO daily metered generated data from Green Collective.

Wind Energy Ireland continues to advocate for policies that support the extension of planning permissions for existing wind farms and the installation of new, modern turbines to ensure a sustainable and clean energy future for Ireland.


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