Wind farms produced 35% of Ireland’s electricity last year, says industry report

Research for industry group finds wind farms produced half of island’s electricity in December 2023

Wind farms produced more than a third of Ireland’s electricity last year, according to a report commissioned by the representative body for the industry.

Wind Energy Ireland, which represents the wind farm industry, said the research showed the sector had provided half of the island’s electricity over the month of December 2023. The body said the amount of energy demand that had been met by wind power last year broke a previous record set in 2020.

Noel Cunniffe, head of the industry body, said the figures showed the impact wind power had on reducing carbon emissions. “Electricity generated from Irish wind farms replaces imported fossil fuels. The more wind we can get on the electricity grid, the less we rely on imported gas and the more we can cut our carbon emissions and keep that money at home,” he said.

In a statement, Mr Cunniffe criticised delays in the planning system for holding up the development of more wind farms in the Republic.


“We cannot build the wind farms we need to achieve energy independence without a planning system that is fit for purpose and we cannot get the power to where it is needed without support for EirGrid and ESB Networks to develop a much stronger electricity grid,” he said.

Mandatory timelines for developers to receive decisions on planning applications would be welcomed, he said. Reform of the planning system needed to be a top priority of the political system over the coming year, he added.

A report by management consultants Baringa, commissioned by Wind Energy Ireland, claimed the fossil fuel industry had lost out on nearly €1 billion last year, due to the amount of energy now provided by wind farms.

The report said the carbon emissions estimated to have been saved due to energy provided by wind power amounted to the rough equivalent of nearly two million cars on the road.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times