Irish government hails renewables as wind power hits new record

Wind generation in Ireland hit a new record for a July month according to Wind Energy Ireland’s monthly wind energy report.

The amount of electricity generated by the sector in July 2023 was up by 51% when compared with July 2022, the representative body said.

Reported by Met Éireann as the wettest July on record in Ireland, the weather meant that, at 32%, the share of demand met by wind energy last month was up by 11% in comparison to July 2022.

Prices on days with the most wind power saw the average cost of a megawatt-hour of electricity decrease by 12% to EUR93.30 per MWh when compared with the previous month, rising to EUR111.71 on days when the country relied almost entirely on fossil fuels.

Irish wind farms provided a third of the island’s electricity over the first seven months of 2023, Wind Energy Ireland said.

Wind Energy Ireland director of external affairs Justin Moran said: “Irish wind farms are helping to protect Irish families and businesses from the worst effects of relying on expensive imported gas.”

“Onshore wind energy, for example, will save more carbon emissions in this decade than any other technology in the Climate Action Plan. The faster we can build and connect new onshore wind farms onto the electricity system, the more secure we make Ireland’s energy supply, the more money we put back in people’s pockets and the more we cut our carbon emissions.”

“Momentum is also growing behind Ireland’s offshore wind energy revolution and there is a strong pipeline of offshore wind projects developing in Ireland.”

“One other piece of good news from this month is that, on 29 July, Irish wind farms met over two thirds of Ireland’s electricity demand for that day and we are seeing that solar energy, for example, is continuing to make a useful contribution over the summer months. Ireland has significant renewable energy sources and by growing our renewable energy sector, we can build an Ireland that is energy independent, delivering warmer homes and cleaner air.”

The results of the report are based on EirGrid’s SCADA data compiled by MullanGrid and on market data provided by ElectroRoute.