SSE Renewables calls for higher wind energy target

Developer says offshore projects will help shield Republic from price rises

The Government should boost its wind energy target to safeguard against rising prices, says SSE Renewables director Maria Ryan.

The Republic’s climate plans call for enough offshore wind capability to generate 5,000 mega-watts (MW) of electricity – close to current peak demand – by 2030.

Ms Ryan, SSE Renewables’ director of development, said on Wednesday that the State should not settle for the 5,000MW target.

Offshore wind would help to protect the country from political crises in Europe that threaten gas supplies, she argued. "It will reduce dependencies on fossil fuels and help protect energy consumers from rising wholesale gas prices," she told the Irish Renewable Energy Summit.

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Ms Ryan added that the Republic should see the target as the absolute minimum.

She described last year’s passing of the Maritime Area Planning Bill, which regulates offshore development, as notable. However, she called for momentum to continue to ensure that the first batch of offshore energy projects are built on time.

SSE Renewables, part of London-listed SSE, plans three offshore wind projects in Irish waters that it says could generate enough electricity to power more than two million homes.

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O'Halloran

Barry O’Halloran covers energy, construction, insolvency, and gaming and betting, among other areas