41% of the country’s electricity in January was produced from Irish wind farms, according to a new report.
This marks a new record for the most electricity ever produced in the month of January from wind energy.
The January Wind Energy Report, published today (Wednesday, February 8) by Wind Energy Ireland, also shows that the amount of power from wind increased by 9% compared to the same month in 2022.
Wind farms produced 1,479 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of electricity last month, up 200 GWh on the previous record for January production, and the seventh best month on record for wind power.
This is equivalent to the annual electricity consumption of around 320,000 Irish families.
According to the report, the average wholesale electricity price in the first month of 2023 was €162.16.
This figure has fallen by over €100 when compared to the December 2022 average of €276.52, but is still much higher than before the current energy crisis.
The average cost of a megawatt-hour of electricity dropped to €133.69 on days with the most wind power production. The cost rose to €196.41 on days where the country had to rely on fossil fuels.
Noel Cunniffe, chief executive of Wind Energy Ireland, said that Irish wind farms are protecting consumers by reducing our dependency on imported fossil fuels.
“The quicker we can build wind farms and reinforce the electricity grid, the more we can do to help consumers,” he said.
Cunniffe warned that delays in the planning system are impacting on the delivery of new farms.
“We need to accelerate the delivery of new wind farms and to do this we need the government to invest in our planning system,” he said.
“Projects are spending more than a year waiting for decisions on applications for planning permission.
“We have no hope of reaching our 2030 targets without a functioning planning system and to do that we urgently need to see massive investment in An Bord Pleanála, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and key environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to ensure applications can be quickly assessed and decided on
“The pipeline of projects is there, the investment is there, but everything is slowed down by an under-resourced planning system that is completely unfit for purpose,” Cunniffe added.