To date, wind energy has been the most significant source of renewable electricity. Installed wind capacity has increased to 2,851 MW across the island of Ireland. However, if we are to reach our 2020 renewable electricity target, the build rate of onshore wind farms must accelerate from an historic average of 180 MW per year to at least 250 MW per year.
Further information on wind generation is available from EirGrid, the electricity transmission system operator.
The growth of renewable energy and in particular wind requires the modernisation and expansion of the electricity grid. Ireland continues to face challenges inherent to successfully further deploying renewable energy in electricity, heat and transport, including predictable and transparent frameworks, regulatory certainty, cost efficiency and effectiveness and social acceptance. More information on Renewable Electricity Supports.
Wind Energy Guidelines
Following detailed engagement between the Department of Housing, Planning, Community and Local Government (DHPCLG) and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment (DCCAE), an emerging “preferred draft approach” to the Review of the 2006 Wind Energy Development Guidelines was jointly announced on 13 June 2017. The emerging “preferred draft approach” was outlined to update the general public, stakeholders and planning authorities on the progress made and timetable for conclusion of the Review of the 2006 Guidelines, in the light of the elapse of time since the review commenced in 2013. The proposed new Guidelines will be subject to Strategic Environmental Assessment and associated public consultation before they are finalised by Government. The new planning guidelines will also be informed by best international practice. Once finalised the Guidelines will be issued to planning authorities under Section 28 of the Planning and Development Act 2000 (as amended). This work is expected to be completed in 2018. The Information Note sets out the broad details of the emerging “preferred draft approach”.