Renewable energy output needs to increase exponentially as a matter of urgency. Here’s why we are hopeful that 2024 will be the year that sees the necessary changes made to make this a reality.
1. The global energy transition is accelerating pace
Last month at COP28, close to 200 countries agreed a deal that calls on all nations to transition away from fossil fuels and triple renewable energy globally by 2030. While there is still much work to be done to achieve these goals, this historic agreement sets in motion a collective push for urgent climate action. At FuturEnergy Ireland we look forward to helping Ireland achieve its renewable energy goals through the delivery of our 1GW-plus portfolio of wind energy projects.
2. Europe as a climate leader
In December 2023, 26 EU member states signed up to the European Wind Power Action Plan, which aims to better support the development of the wind industry. As part of the Charter, countries pledge to deliver specified deployment volumes for the coming years. Ireland has pledged a 6GW deliverable for 2026. This is a positive initiative, further demonstrating Europe’s leadership in this area.
3. The Irish Climate Action Plan gets a refresh
We welcome the very recent publication of the Climate Action Plan 2024 (CAP 2024), which outlines the action required to achieve Ireland's climate ambitions and reduce these impacts. The latest plan includes a series of new, high-impact actions that target the electricity industry and aim to accelerate renewable energy generation, increase flexibility and improve demand management.
4. New Irish wind energy guidelines are being prioritised
One aspect of CAP 2024 that merits special attention relates to the revised Wind Energy Development Guidelines, which are due to be published in June 2024 for two months of public consultation. Once final, the clarity and reassurance that these guidelines will provide should benefit all stakeholders and assist Ireland to successfully deliver on its climate goals.
5. More wind energy means lower electricity bills
In an upward trend set to continue, a record 35% of our electricity came from wind energy in 2023. This resulted in a saving of more than €1.5 billion, the avoided cost of importing equivalent volumes of gas. These wind volumes lowered wholesale electricity prices, and in turn lowered electricity bills.
6. Electric dreams are becoming a reality
The electric transition is well underway. Electric vehicles registered in Ireland surged by 45% and now make up 19% of the market, compared to 15% in 2022, according to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry. This means we are on track to reach the Government target of 175,000 EVs by 2025.
7. The enabling role of battery energy storage
In 2024, FuturEnergy Ireland will expand its portfolio to include battery storage projects. Battery energy storage systems are set to play a critical role in integrating intermittent renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, onto the Irish system, which is already a world leader in terms of level of renewables successfully operating on its system. More to follow…
8. Climate change has gone mainstream
Climate change records were smashed in 2023, officially the warmest year on record, which has raised awareness of global warming and its devastating effects. Almost nine in ten adults believe Ireland has a responsibility to act on climate change, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest Climate Change in the Irish Mind survey. This climate concern is translating into action. More than 750 SEAI Sustainable Energy Community Programmes across Ireland are enabling citizens to work together towards energy goals. The more public support renewable energy projects receive, the faster the country will achieve net zero carbon emissions.
9. A global political reshuffle looms
Around four billion people – roughly half the world’s population - will cast a vote in 2024. This includes Ireland, where local and European elections are set to take place. This unprecedented year in democratic history is the perfect opportunity to see climate action brought to the forefront of political manifestoes and prioritised by the next wave of political leaders.