Ireland launched its new Climate Action Plan in November 2021, which details concrete actions to reach the targets set in the Climate Act 2021. The country commits to a legally binding target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and a reduction of 51 percent by 2030. Renewable electricity is to be increased to up to 80 percent by 2030. Renewable energies are remunerated within the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). The results of the current round RESS 2 will be published in June 2022. More of these auctions are planned for this decade.
Ireland’s electricity system is currently only weakly connected to the United Kingdom and not at all connected to the European Union. Greenlink, a new 500-megawatts interconnector between Ireland and the UK, is scheduled to be commissioned in 2024. A further 700-megawatts, 575 kilometres long interconnector between Ireland and France is in the planning process and is expected to be commissioned in 2026. Both are expected to ease the curtailment of wind and solar output on Ireland’s island system when operational.
The conditions in Ireland are favourable for producing much more wind energy in the future given the outstanding wind conditions and numerous potentially suitable sites. The Irish Sustainable Energy Authority estimates the overall potential capacity for wind energy in 2050 at 46 gigawatts in the Republic of Ireland. Of this, 16 gigawatts are onshore wind farms, and 30 gigawatts are offshore. By the end of 2020, around 4.4 gigawatts of onshore wind energy were connected to the grid in Ireland.
ABO Wind Ireland Limited has already installed turbines in Glenough, Gortahile, Gibbet Hill, Cappawhite B and Clogheravaddy with a total of 106 megawatts. We also built a 220-kilovolt transformer station to connect the Glenough wind farm (32.5 megawatts) to the grid. The team in Dublin is currently working on further wind farms, some of which already have building permits and are to be constructed over the next few years.