Wind worth up to €8.3bn to Ireland

March 30, 2014 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

The installation of 5.4GW of new wind capacity in Ireland by 2030 could add €8.3bn of investment into the country’s economy, according to a new report by consultancy Pöyry and Cambridge Econometrics.

Some €3.5bn would be direct investment to 2020, as 3.8GW of wind capacity is installed to meet Ireland’s 2020 targets, and an additional €4.8bn to 2030, the report said.

The “Value of Wind Energy to Ireland”, which was released today at the Irish Wind Energy Association conference in Dublin, said the net annual GDP impact of new wind capacity will be between €350m and €490m a year to 2020.

The impact would rise to between €646m and €769m a year during the 2021 to 2030 period, the authors said.

They estimated that building new wind farms could lead to a total of 22,510 new jobs being created by 2030.

Additional cumulative tax revenue to the Irish State Development from wind energy would be €1.8bn, if Ireland meets its 2020 targets, and continues to grow domestic wind capacity through to 2030.

The report said that if enough wind energy is installed to meet the country’s 2020 targets, which would not crate additional burdens for consumers, wholesale electricity prices will fall by €2.10/MWh by 2020.

Up to €700m a year could be saved in fossil fuel imports, it added.

However, if no new wind capacity is deployed after 2014, energy imports of coal, oil and gas will rise from €900m in 2013 to €1100m in 2020 and €1500m in 2030, the report said.

IWEA chief executive officer Kenneth Matthews said: 
“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.

“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.”

At the conference, IWEA chief executive Kenneth Matthews said that Ireland’s installed wind capacity would provide a hedge against energy insecurity, no matter how sensitive the international geopolitical situation is.

He said: “What Mr Putin cannot do is turn off our wind turbines.”

He said that in the current situation, Ireland is “at the behest of gas prices”, and that the only way around that was to increase the amount of wind on the grid.

Image: the Lisheen 2 wind farm in Ireland adding to the country’s GDP (Bord Gais)

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