Wind Energy Ireland has called on the Government to commit to building a fully decarbonised electricity system by 2035 at its Annual Conference in Dublin’s Clayton Burlington Hotel.
Delegates attending the largest renewable energy industry event of the year will be hearing from leading policymakers including Sinn Féin President Mary Lou McDonald TD, EU Commissioner Mairead McGuinness, Oireachtas Climate Action Committee Chairperson Brian Leddin TD and EirGrid CEO Mark Foley.
Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland, said: “The technical debate is over. We have the energy, the technology and the investment to build a fully decarbonised electricity system by 2035. That is the ambition we are launching today in our new Strategic Plan.
“We are ready for the challenge and we are calling on the Government to join us in building an Ireland which is energy independent, with warmer homes, cleaner air and a renewable energy industry employing tens of thousands of people who will lead our fight against climate change.”
However, concerns remain widespread in the industry, and the international supply-chain, regarding the slow pace of policy change in Ireland and the lack of resources available to key Government departments, State agencies and other critical players in renewable energy development.
Wind Energy Ireland is calling on the Government to accelerate the development of renewable electricity in Ireland and specifically called for:
- Minister Darragh O’Brien TD to instruct An Bord Pleanála to prioritise planning applications from renewable energy projects and related grid infrastructure;
- Minister Michael McGrath TD to ensure that An Bord Pleanála, the National Parks & Wildlife Service and other key environmental stakeholders get the resources they need in this year’s budget to properly process planning applications;
- Minister Eamon Ryan TD – alongside all politicians, national and local – to work with EirGrid, ESB Networks and industry to build an electricity grid that is strong enough to accommodate the onshore, offshore and floating wind energy we will need to be net-zero by 2035.
Noel Cunniffe continued: “We are living in an energy crisis. Irish consumers are under steadily growing pressure as suppliers pass on costs driven by increased fossil fuel prices.
“Climate change is accelerating faster than we could have ever imagined and Europe’s dependence on fossil fuels is funding the destruction of Ukraine. It doesn’t have to be this way.
“Ireland has some of the best wind energy resources in the world. The sooner we can build the new wind farms, on and offshore, the sooner we will not only decarbonise this country but be able to export clean power to help cut carbon emissions across Europe.
“The case for accelerating the development of renewable energy is indisputable – cheaper energy, fewer carbon emissions, greater security and more jobs at home.”