Wind energy in Ireland has undergone significant growth in recent years and further growth will be required to reach the country’s Climate Action Plan. Ireland aims to achieve 80% of the energy supply to be provided from renewable energy supply and to be net-zero by 2035. Wind energy hit a record high in February 2022, wind-powered energy was responsible for 53% of Ireland’s electricity generation. According to the Wind Energy Ireland report, on the 5th of February, the amount of wind energy on the system reached a record high of 4.6GW. Due to the increasing importance of wind energy to the national economy, it is of no surprise that key European wind developers featured in the list below have acquired Irish wind assets.
1) EDF Renewables (France)
The French solar, wind, and battery developer operates a global portfolio in the excess of 5GW. In 2019, EDF Renewables opened their Dublin office and since then the group have developed 3 onshore wind projects. The most recent addition to their Irish wind portfolio is the 50MW wind farm located in Carlow. The project, named Seskin Wind Farm is still subject to planning permission and aims to become operational by 2026. The Seskin Wind Farm will bring their portfolio to 200W, in addition to their 50MW Lackareagh and 100MW Kilsallagh wind farm.
2) Statkfraft (Norway)
The Norwegian renewables giant entered the Irish market in 2018 and is responsible for the development of 5 Irish wind farms to date with an installed capacity of 500MW. So far this year, the wind farms have developed 557GW of wind power. Statkraft aims to increase their wind portfolio to 6GW by 2025 and further investments in Irish wind form part of their approach. In May 2021, the group announced they were preparing 6 bids for wind farms with a total capacity of 320MW in the Irish RESS auction.
3) RWE (Germany)
The key European investor and developer of wind, solar, and battery energy aims to invest €50bn by 2030 and expand their portfolio to 50GW. The German group have identified potential wind projects in Ireland and are looking to invest €1.5bn. This will give RWE a key role in helping Ireland reach their 80% by 2030 goal. RWE were responsible for the development of the first battery storage facility in Balbriggan and aim to expand their growth with the Dublin Array project. The project will consist of between 45 and 61 wind turbines and will have an installed capacity of between 600-900MW. The German group also have plans to collaborate with Dutch developers Ampyx Power to construct airborne wind projects in Mayo.
Image Source Unsplash 16.05.2022