To date, wind energy has been the most significant source of renewable electricity. Installed wind capacity has increased to 2,851 MW across the island of Ireland. However, if we are to reach our 2020 renewable electricity target, the build rate of onshore wind farms must accelerate from an historic average of 180 MW per year to at least 250 MW per year.
Further information on wind generation is available from EirGrid, the electricity transmission system operator.
The growth of renewable energy and in particular wind requires the modernisation and expansion of the electricity grid. Ireland continues to face challenges inherent to successfully further deploying renewable energy in electricity, heat and transport, including predictable and transparent frameworks, regulatory certainty, cost efficiency and effectiveness and social acceptance. More information on Renewable Electricity Supports.
Wind Energy Development Guidelines
The Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government and the Department for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment have today, 12 December 2019, launched a public consultation on proposed revisions to the Wind Energy Development Guidelines.
The guidelines relate to onshore wind developments and set the national policy context for the incorporation of wind energy considerations in local authority development plans and for the determination of planning applications and appeals by planning authorities and An Bord Pleanála in respect of wind energy developments. The draft guidelines, when finalised, will affect future planning applications and considerations for future wind energy development proposals. These will include the renewal and repowering of existing wind energy development consents.
A copy of the draft Wind Energy Development Guidelines and associated environmental reports can be downloaded from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government's website.
Written submissions on the draft Guidelines or associated environmental reports can be made by email, preferably in 'word' format, to WEDGReview@housing.gov.ie.
Alternatively, responses can be posted to: WEDG Review Submissions, Planning Policy and Legislation Section, Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, Custom House, Dublin 1, D01 W6X0.
It should be noted that in the interests of transparency, all written submissions received will be made publicly available on the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government's website.
The final date for receipt of submissions under the public consultation is 17:00hrs on 19 February 2020.