Statkraft believes that an offshore wind farm built in the North Irish Sea will bring considerable benefits. The wind in this area holds a source of energy that can deliver a very real and lasting difference to our society, accelerate Ireland’s fight against climate change and transition to a carbon-neutral economy.
NISA has the potential to deliver clean green renewable energy to approximately 500,000 houses and as such deliver very significant climate action.
Preventing future fines
Ireland currently owes €150,000,000 in fines for not meeting its 2020 EU climate targets. In 2030 Ireland will be judged against more climate targets and face the possibility of further fines if the situation has not improved. If we want to avoid further fines in 2030, then Ireland must decarbonise its economy and do it quickly. One way of achieving this is to remove our reliance on fossil fuels for producing electricity and convert to renewable sources. Wind energy is our largest and cheapest resource in terms of producing renewable energy.
Each wind energy project that is developed contributes to our climate change targets and reduces the fines that we will be incurred. In 2018, wind energy accounted for 30% of the total electricity demand in the country. It is clear that wind energy offers Ireland the most effective means of reaching our renewable energy targets.
Despite the fact that wind energy saved Ireland €226,000,000 saved in fossil fuel imports in 2017, a far greater amount than the fines to be incurred, the fines that we are facing are not something that we as a country need to suffer. We believe that Ireland is well placed to continue its drive for more renewable energy, meet our targets for 2030 and, as a consequence, eliminate all potential fines.
Ireland has one of the best wind resources in the world and we have the capacity to harness this energy, yet we remain heavily dependent on importing expensive and polluting fossil fuels.
SEAI figures for 2017 show that Wind Energy saved Ireland:
- €226 Million euro in fossil fuel imports
- 1 Million Tonnes of Oil Equivalent (Mtoe)
- 7 Million Tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2)
With more renewable energy coming on stream we are well on the way to improving our self-sufficiency and more importantly the security of supply. We believe this is a very important goal for the country and could eventually leave us independent of all potential foreign supply disruptions. This would give Ireland more freedom to control the price of the electricity it produces, react more efficiently to demands from the grid and even allow us to potentially export our own energy for profit.
In 2017, approximately 24% of Irish electricity was generated by wind energy. In 2018, this increased to approximately 30%. In the first quarter of 2019 figures show that almost 37% of our electricity was generated by wind energy. The ambition is to increase renewable energy on the Irish grid system to 70% by 2030.
The more renewable energy that we develop in Ireland the greater the financial and carbon savings we will achieve. It will in turn lower our contribution to global warming, working towards avoiding the catastrophic natural consequences that will incur if we let the global temperature rise.
Our expertise in renewable energies, alongside the rapid advances in technology, has meant that we are able to avoid many of the perceived concerns of offshore wind, making sure our wind farms produce clean, reliable energy at all times.