Ireland needs green energy urgently and FuturEnergy Ireland is on a mission to help make this happen.
Our aim is to generate 1GW of renewable energy from our onshore wind projects by 2030. This will make a significant contribution to the Government’s climate action targets while providing Ireland with the energy security and independence we desperately need.
But this isn’t only about hitting targets and reducing bills. It is also about making sure we protect the planet for our children and for our children’s children. The pace of warming, which is currently estimated at plus 0.1d C each 5 years, can be slowed. Together, we can make a lasting impact.
Green Energy Solution
Green energy comes by harnessing the power of our natural resources – wind, water and sun. Renewable energy, primarily onshore wind, provided 42% of our electricity needs in 2020 and 35% in 2021. The percentage is contribution is now expected to reach between 70-80% by 2030.
Electricity generation by source 2020
Renewable energy generation is central to the Irish Government’s energy policy, which is targeting 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and a carbon neutral society by 2050.
To reach these ambitious targets, an increase in onshore wind power is paramount. The Climate Action Plan aims to almost double Ireland’s onshore wind energy capacity, from 4.23GW in 2020 to 8.2GW by 2030.
We’ve got the power
Ireland is a world leader in onshore wind.
It has one of the best wind resources in Europe, and an established track record in delivering high quality projects that make a positive impact to communities and also decrease the carbon intensity of the energy we consume.
Wind energy fights climate change
Unlike conventional power plants that burn fossil fuels, wind turbines do not produce carbon emissions that cause acid rain or greenhouse gases. Wind energy saved 4 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020, more than every other form of renewable energy in Ireland combined.
Wind energy improves energy independence and security
Ireland imports a little over 70% of the energy we use, and as such is vulnerable to international price increases, which are extremely volatile due to the conflict in Ukraine. This in turn is having an unprecedented inflationary effect across our economy, including a hike in energy bills. Wind energy can reduce our dependance on imported fossil fuels and support more stable and affordable long-term energy prices.
Wind energy boosts the economy
Onshore wind is worth €410 million annually to today’s economy with most of this concentrated in rural Ireland.
Wind energy is better for our health
According to the World Health Organisation, climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity and will cause an additional 250,000 deaths a year from 2030 to 2050 due to from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress. Meanwhile, air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels is responsible for 3.6 million global deaths annually. Wind energy reduces carbon emissions, while makes our air cleaner to breathe and slows rising global temperatures.
Wind energy creates jobs
Ireland’s wind farms support more than 5,100 jobs directly and through the supply chain. This could rise to more than 7,000 jobs by 2030.
Wind energy is cheaper than burning fossil fuels
Renewable energy now costs less to produce than burning fossil fuels – and it will continue to fall. According to an International Renewable Energy Agency report, in 2021 two thirds of new renewable energy power was cheaper than the cheapest coal-fired power plants in G20 countries.
Wind energy strengthens rural communities
The Government’s new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme sets a benchmark for funding received by communities who live near wind farms. By 2030, communities near wind farms could be receiving up to €25 million annually in Community Benefit Funding across the country with 40 per cent of that reserved for sustainable development projects.
Wind energy is good for rural regeneration
Wind farms pay more than €45 million a year in commercial rates to county councils across Ireland. This is expected to double by the end of this decade (2030). In seven counties, wind farms contribute more than 8 per cent of the entire commercial rates budget and this figure rises to 22 per cent in Leitrim and 15.5 per cent in Tipperary. These rates go towards public services, from libraries and street lighting to parks and playgrounds.
Land use can co-exist around turbines
Wind farms can co-exist alongside other land uses, such as forestry, agriculture and amenity.
Wind energy will never run out
Wind energy is a clean, green natural resource that is available in abundance in Ireland. We will always be able to rely on wind power to create the electricity that powers our country.