Development of wind farms should be a ‘priority’ for Ryan

SSE has written to the Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport, Eamon Ryan, with five key priorities to deliver a green economic recovery in response to the coronavirus crisis, including the development of wind farms.

As the Government prepares to unveil its July Jobs Stimulus Plan, SSE believes support for decarbonising the energy sector can help create and safeguard thousands of jobs across all regions.

In its five-point ‘greenprint’, SSE outlines immediate opportunities to deliver a ‘win-win’ for the economy and climate, by unlocking private investment in low-carbon infrastructure and supporting people in decarbonising their homes and businesses.

Maximising economic opportunities

The priorities include facilitating the delivery of onshore and offshore wind farms, such as SSE’s proposed Phase 2 of Arklow Bank Wind Park in the Irish Sea; empowering consumers through energy-efficiency and microgeneration; and electrifying the heat and transport sectors.

The company believes these priorities could help Ireland achieve an electricity system with net-zero carbon emissions by 2040. This could serve as the cornerstone for Ireland reaching its new target of a net-zero economy by 2050.

The five priorities set out in SSE’s ‘greenprint’ for economic recovery are:
  • Facilitate deployment of 1 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind by 2025 to meet the 5GW target by 2030;
  • Continue the success story of onshore wind through balanced planning standards;
  • Provide customers with attractive decarbonisation options, particularly energy efficiency and microgeneration;
  • Decarbonise flexible thermal generation by strengthening carbon pricing and system stability services;
  • Electrify heat and transport to harness progressive decarbonisation of electricity supply.

Stephen Wheeler, of SSE, commented on the greenprint, saying: “It is encouraging to see climate action and renewable energy feature so prominently in the ambitions set out in the Programme for Government.

However, we now need swift action in a number of key priority areas to ensure we are maximising the economic opportunities as we rebound from the coronavirus crisis.

“SSE stands ready to invest billions of euro to deliver the low-carbon infrastructure we need, boosting our economy and creating a cleaner, greener society for generations to come.

“With the imperative of tackling climate change, we can support thousands of jobs in all regions of the country, building stronger, sustainable domestic supply chains that increase our self-sufficiency and security.

“It’s clear that decarbonising our electricity system is the key to greening other sectors and we believe a net-zero power system by 2040 has to be the starting point for achieving a net-zero society by 2050,” he concluded.