Renewables could supply up to 42% of Ireland’s energy needs, cutting our reliance on imported energy, slashing costs for households and business and boosting competitiveness.
That’s the message spelled out today by Irish Wind Energy Association CEO Michael Walsh at the group’s first all-Ireland conference, which was taking place at the Europa Hotel in Belfast.
Ireland boasts some of the best renewable energy resources anywhere in the world and the challenge to the energy community as well as governments and regulators is to unlock this potential, he told delegates.
“This demands practical visible action, including investment in network connectivity, allowing wind and other renewable energy sources to connect to the all island grid, and a radical re-examination of how we manage energy systems to accommodate and exploit ever increasing amounts of renewable power,” Dr Walsh said.
The conference theme, ‘Actions for Economic Prosperity in a New Energy Era’, highlighted actions required by energy companies, grid regulators, and governments north and south, he said.
With soaring energy prices and continuing problems in controlling carbon emissions, the IWEA conference examined ways to accelerate the incorporation of renewable power into overall energy requirements.
“The all-island grid study published earlier this year clearly demonstrates the potential to incorporate increasing quantities of renewable power — up to 42% of our power needs. We believe that the potential for wind is even higher and represents the next great revolution in energy generation and use,” he said.
“We call on both governments to set targets for renewable energy delivery that reflect this potential. This will require a quantum shift in how we use and manage electrical power. However, persistently high energy costs and the pace of innovation in power management will drive this change.”