IRELAND IS facing a “serious bottleneck” in meeting ambitious renewable energy targets for 2020 and needs to accelerate the delivery of wind power projects, according to the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA)
The association’s chief executive Dr Michael Walsh yesterday cited
the latest European figures showing that Ireland was still “very much
at the back of the class” in terms of wind installations.
figures show that just 0.7 per cent of wind capacity in all 27 EU
member states was installed here in 2007 – well short of what was
needed to meet the target of 40 per cent for renewables by 2020.
need to start accelerating project delivery so we do not end up in a
bottleneck as we approach 2020 and miss out on a significant employment
opportunity for the Irish economy,” Dr Walsh said.
Ireland, along with Scotland, has the best wind resources in Europe, he
said that with wind energy’s market share of only 1.4 per cent here we
are not delivering on anything like our potential.
comparative levels of wind resource, Ireland should be significantly
outperforming continental Europe, where wind had an average 6.6 per
cent market share (excluding newer EU states).
Dr Walsh said the
lack of alternative natural energy resources in Ireland also meant that
we were highly sensitive to imported energy prices and this should be
an added impetus to expand wind.
At the current rate of
installation, he said, it was likely that we would have to bring in
companies from abroad to carry out work that Irish companies should
have been able to do cheaper and sooner.
The IWEA intends to
mark Global Wind Day on June 15th by outlining a road map that would
set out a future for the industry and steady increases in activity per
year over the next decade.
Seven wind farms will be open to the public on the day and Dr Walsh urged members of the public to visit these.
Further information on Global Wind Day is available on www.iwea.com
This article appears in the print edition of the Irish Times