Written answers

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Wind Energy Generation

Photo of Michael MoynihanMichael Moynihan (Cork North West, Fianna Fail)
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462. To ask the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the percentage of energy supply that emanates from wind farms; the maximum megawatt outage produced by wind farms to the grid; the lowest megawatt outage on the grid this year; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [47055/14]

Photo of Alex WhiteAlex White (Dublin South, Labour)
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Wind generation will continue to play a critical role in meeting our commitment to achieve 40% of our electricity needs from renewable sources by 2020, as part of our overall EU obligation to meet 16% of our total energy demand from renewables.

There is currently approximately 2,200 MW of wind generation capacity connected to the grid. It is estimated that a total of between 3,500 and 4,000 MW of onshore renewable generation capacity will be required to allow Ireland to achieve 40% renewable electricity.

In 2013, wind generation supplied 16.5% of Ireland’s electricity demand. The maximum wind output to date occurred on 17 October this year, when wind reached a level of 1,784 MW at a time when the system demand was approximately 3,890MW. The instantaneous penetration of wind generation has at times been 50 percent of system demand. However, despite the fact that Ireland has one of the best wind resources in the world, there are times when the wind does not blow and wind generation is therefore not available to be used on the grid. Further statistics on the power system are available on the Smart Grid Dashboard on EirGrid's website: 


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