Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees

Tuesday, 1 March 2022

Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action

Energy - Ambition and Challenges: Discussion

Mr. Justin Moran:

Senator Dooley mentioned the role of onshore wind energy. It is important to be conscious that the existing onshore wind energy fleet provided approximately 53% of Ireland's electricity in February, and that is the highest share of demand we have ever provided in a single month. To give insight into how that affects costs, on the windiest days in February, the cost of electricity in Ireland is approximately €130 or €135, whereas on the least windy days, the wholesale price of electricity was approximately €229 or €230. We speak about costs for the electricity consumer, which is obviously suffering increased costs now, and delivering power at a cost that enables us to deliver green hydrogen competitively, and onshore wind has a really critical role to play in that. The target is for 4,000 MW in the climate action plan, some of which is already under construction and some is already going through planning.

Senator Dooley's point is really important in highlighting the need to give confidence to communities who hear that onshore wind farms are coming into their areas and that they will be dealt with fairly, robustly and transparently in the planning system. This goes back to Mr. Cunniffe's point about the need to ensure a properly funded and effective planning system. If there is one message we really want to drive home today, it is that we are not going to deliver the onshore or offshore projects or the green hydrogen projects unless we have a planning system that enables us to do so.