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Record 2015 Sees Ireland Secure Top 3 Global Ranking for Renewable Wind Energy

11 January, 2016

Wind energy powers record 39% of Ireland’s electricity demand in December

Almost 1 in 4 electricity units produced by wind energy in 2015

Ireland is set to move up the rankings into third place globally for our use of renewable wind energy following a record year in 2015 which saw 24 percent of Ireland’s entire electricity usage met by indigenous wind energy according to the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA).

December was a record setting month for wind energy in Ireland having met 39 percent of the full month’s overall electricity demand, compared to 30 percent for the same period in 2014, with production peaking at a record 2037MW on Saturday 19th December 2015, providing enough energy to power 1.3 million homes nationwide.

The significant increase in wind energy levels contributed to a 9.4 percent decrease in the price of wholesale electricity in 2015 compared to the previous year.

These records were underpinned by significant continued investment in Ireland’s wind energy sector with over €350 million invested in wind infrastructure in 2015. We will see a further €410 million investment on average annually over the next four years in order to meet Ireland’s binding EU 2020 targets.

Kenneth Matthews, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association welcomed the news saying:

“Ireland is providing global leadership on the use of renewable electricity and in leveraging the economic and environmental benefits that come with this indigenous energy source. Today other countries see Ireland as a small island nation that is now leading the way in the agreed global carbon energy transition.”

“We should take great pride that we are now among the world’s best in using wind energy to power our schools and universities, our workplaces, our homes and our lives.

“In 2014 alone, Irish wind energy helped us cut over 16% off our emissions from electricity generation, leading us to a record low in the carbon intensity of our electricity generation which is enabling foreign direct investment in Ireland as companies seek to power operations from low carbon energy”

“Irish wind and renewable energy gives us the power to power ourselves and the opportunity to cut our 85 percent foreign energy import dependency which costs us €15.6 million every single day.”

“Our wind energy is today working for us, and playing an ever more important role in meeting our heavy electricity demand while helping to drive down prices, cutting harmful emissions and reducing the country’s reliance on more expensive sources of energy.”

Ireland will now join Denmark and Portugal in the top three nations worldwide for the percentage of wind energy used for electricity. The figures are based on information from the International Energy Agency (IEA) which shows that in 2014 the leaders were Denmark 39.1%, Portugal 24%, and Spain 20.4% with Ireland trailing in fourth position at 18.3%. Ireland now overtakes Spain in the rankings with the final figures expected to be released in the coming weeks.


For more information:

Robert Brown
01 412 0514 

Notes to Editor:

Ireland today has a total installed wind energy capacity of over 2400MW, enough to power over 1.5m Irish homes and at times wind energy meets over 50% of Ireland’s electricity demand.

• Global Renewable Rankings source - IEA Wind Annual Report 2014 (Page 10: Table 8) http://www.ieawind.org/annual_reports_PDF/2014.html

• Wholesale Price Reduction source – Vayu Market Report for 2015 http://vayu.ie/2015-vayu-annual-energy-report-23-drop-in-irish-wholesale-gas-prices-in-q4-2015-compared-with-last-year/

About IWEA:

About IWEA Established in 1993, the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) is the national body representing the wind energy sector in Ireland. IWEA is committed to promoting the use of wind energy in Ireland and beyond as an economically viable and environmentally sound alternative to conventional generation and promotes awareness and understanding of wind power as the primary renewable energy resource. IWEA is also dedicated to education and awareness building, and to building the skills base of the renewable energy sector in Ireland. IWEA also supports the development of other renewable technology, particularly marine energy. IWEA has more than 200 members who incorporate all leading industry voices in Ireland. IWEA acts as a central point for information for its membership as well as a voice to promote wind energy to government. IWEA is entirely self-funded and relies on the support of its members.