The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan has announced that Ireland has signed up to a European Wind Charter which seeks to develop and improve the conditions necessary for the delivery of wind energy targets. The charter, which considers both onshore and offshore wind, focuses on a range of areas, including, National Energy and Climate Plans, wind auctions, governance, regulation, and equipment manufacturing.
The charter builds upon the recent European Wind Power Action Plan published by the European Commission last October, which aims to support EU companies in the wind sector and improve their competitiveness. Renewable wind energy is seen as an important resource for Europe’s decarbonisation plans and is potentially the largest domestic source of electricity that can replace volatile imported fossil fuels.
As part of the European Wind Charter, Ireland has also signed a voluntary ‘wind pledge’ committing to the delivery of wind energy targets for the period 2024-2026, as well as pledging indicative targets for 2030 and post-2030.
The pledge’s indicative targets for onshore generation of 9GW by 2030 compliments the commitments to Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2023 which seeks to transform Ireland into an international leader in the development and generation of high-quality renewable energy. Ireland is expecting to reach 4,812MW of onshore wind by year end and the State’s onshore wind sector will continue to be one of the leading cost-effective technologies to achieve its renewable electricity targets, whilst awaiting the development of offshore wind.
From an offshore perspective, the pledge’s indicative targets for 2030 and post-2030, complements the recent publication by the North Seas Energy Cooperation (NSEC) of long-term plans by its members, including Ireland, towards the development of offshore wind up to 2040. Ireland’s total offshore wind target for 2040 (including the Atlantic basin) remains 20GW.
Commenting on the European Wind Charter and pledge, Minister Ryan said, “wind energy, both onshore and offshore, is crucial to both the EU’s and Ireland’s efforts to decarbonise our economy, boost security of supply and rapidly reduce energy costs for households and businesses. This Wind Charter and pledge reflects the ongoing coordinated effort and common vision across European countries to ensure the transition to clean energy is resilient, sustainable and goes hand-in-hand with industrial competitiveness. With the wind energy sector facing some recent challenges, this is another example of the collective commitment that exists across Europe to deliver renewable wind energy targets. The massive and rapid deployment of wind energy across Europe envisaged under this charter must be matched with a strong and comprehensive programme of community engagement and community gains to ensure the benefits of wind energy are felt by all citizens.”