Coillte and ESB have launched a new 50:50 joint venture – FuturEnergy Ireland – focussed on renewable energy development.

This semi-state partnership aims to help the country deliver on its green energy targets, the companies said in a statement. They plan on achieving this by developing 1GW of wind energy projects by 2030 – enough to power more than 500,000 homes.

The company, which will operate independently of both entities, will oversee the development of commercial wind farms.

It says it has the potential to play a “fundamental role in a green economic recovery by creating jobs in rural areas and growing a green industrial sector” while also funding local development and enhancing amenities for host communities.

Coillte is a custodian of 7% of Ireland’s land and, to date, that land has helped Ireland achieve its 2020 target of delivering 40% of electricity demand from renewable sources.

Coillte’s portfolio of proposed wind farm projects and its renewable energy division have now transferred to FuturEnergy Ireland.

The majority of projects in the pipeline are either preparing to enter the planning system or are in the planning process awaiting adjudication.

The new company is led by CEO, Peter Lynch, former managing director of Coillte’s renewable energy division.

Commenting today, he said:

“With the very strong mandate received from its two shareholders, FuturEnergy Ireland is positioned to make a lasting and positive impact in Ireland’s renewable energy sector by delivering wind farm infrastructure for the benefit of all stakeholders, including local host communities.”

Also commenting, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan said onshore wind has been the predominant renewable technology to date, and it has delivered enormously for Ireland.

The Climate Action Plan sets out a target of 80% of electricity being generated from renewables by 2030, and onshore wind will play an important role in achieving this, the minister said.