Ireland Raises Bar for Electricity from Renewable Energy

According to figures released by Sustainable Energy Ireland’s (SEI) Energy Policy Statistical Support Unit, electricity generated from renewables contributed 6.8% to electricity supply in 2005, up from 5.2% in 2004. This was a 70% rise in electricity generated from wind and confirms the rapid growth wind energy since 2004.

Noel Dempsey, Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources, just increased Ireland’s target for renewable energy generated electricity from 13.2% to 15% by 2010 in mid-June — a target that David Taylor, Chief Executive for SEI, finds “realistic and achievable.” In 2004 the installed capacity of wind farms in Ireland was 339 megawatts (MW). By the end of 2005, states the release, this had risen by 46% to 496 MW. A further rise to 736 MW is expected by the end of 2006, and the installed capacity of wind turbines in Ireland will more than double by the end of 2006 compared with the end of 2004. “The increased contribution from wind is particularly welcome,” said Taylor. “With demand for energy in Ireland rising in recent years we have witnessed an increase in energy-related CO2 emissions. However, each extra megawatt of wind capacity installed in Ireland contributes to security of supply on the island of Ireland and avoids, on average, the release of 2,008 tons of CO2 per annum helping to combat the effects of climate change.” “This underlines the economic and environmental importance of renewable energy and the need to ensure that its deployment continues to grow to meet our growing energy requirements and international obligations,” added Taylor. Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) is the statutory authority charged with promoting and assisting the development of sustainable energy. SEI is funded by the Irish Government under the National Development Plan 2000-2006 with programs partly financed by the European Union.

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