Welcome to IEA Wind Member Country Activities for Ireland 2011
In 2011, wind generating capacity totaling 239 MW was installed in Ireland, a 17% increase by year’s end. Annual capacity additions have averaged of 22% over of the past four years and installed capacity has doubled since the middle of 2008. The additional capacity regularly delivers new system records for wind power production. On 26 November 2011, instantaneous wind power output reached 1,474 MW. Instantaneous wind penetration levels peaked above 40% in every month of the year, reaching a maximum of 53.5% on 29 December 2011. This is remarkable given the relatively isolated nature of Ireland’s electricity grid. After a wind lull in 2010, 2011 marked a return to wind conditions which are more in line with the recent trend. In 2011 18.7% of electricity supply was via renewable generation, 15.6% of which was by wind.
Much innovative work is ongoing to facilitate the de-carbonizing of Ireland’s electricity supply by variable resources. Falling or stagnant demand for electricity will, however, exacerbate the economic and technical challenges in the integration of large amounts of renewable generating capacity before the end of the decade. Maximum instantaneous wind output will, in the very near future, exceed minimum system demand. Significant developments in interconnection, power system operations, and demand side management are either under way or planned in order to maximize use of Ireland’s wind resource. Ireland’s overall dependence on imported fossil fuels remains high at 86% of total primary energy.