Ireland harnessing wind energy could save €700 million a year in fossil fuel imports and reduce the country’s dependency on energy imports, according to a recent report on the wind energy sector.

The report, ‘The Value of Wind Energy to Ireland’ states that using wind energy to meet Ireland’s 2020 targets and adding further capacity up to 2030, will dramatically reduce Ireland’s costly dependency on foreign energy, lower wholesale electricity prices and deliver €1.8 billion in new tax revenue to the Irish state, all without leading to any cost to Irish consumers. 

Developed by Pöyry, a international consulting and engineering consultancy and Cambridge Econometrics, the report represents the most comprehensive independent study ever conducted into the economic impact of wind energy development in Ireland and shines a new light on the economic benefits of further developing clean renewable wind energy, according to the IWEA.

The report, launched at the annual conference of the IWEA highlights that by installing the 3.8GW of wind capacity required to meet the Republic of Ireland’s 2020 targets and developing a further 1.6GW between 2020 and 2030, to meet domestic energy demand, the wind energy sector would:

  • Deliver €8.3 billion of investment into the Irish economy;
  • Significantly contribute to economic growth;
  • Provide at least €1.8bn additional cumulative tax revenue to the Irish State;
  • Lower wholesale electricity prices;
  • Lead to no additional cost to Irish consumers;
  • Save Ireland €700 million per year in fossil fuel imports and reduce the country’s dependency on energy imports;
  • Support 22,510 jobs; and,
  • Protect the environment by significantly reducing CO2 emissions.

“At a time when energy supply and security is at the top of the international agenda, this report clearly demonstrates the very considerable economic, environmental, social and security of supply benefits the continued transition towards wind energy will bring to Ireland,” said Kenneth Matthews, CEO of IWEA.

“To fully deliver on these benefits, it is now essential to maintain momentum and remain focused on achieving our 2020 renewable energy targets with a view to continuing to grow the sector beyond 2020 for the benefit of all our communities.”

According to the Finnish consultancy firm, the potential investment and gain from mass wind energy products will have almost zero, if any, effect on the Irish taxpayer by the time Ireland reaches its target of 20pc of total energy use originating from renewable energies as laid down by the Europe 2020 agreement.