Ireland’s electricity should be 70 per cent renewables by 2030, says wind farm group

Turbines

The Government should set an ambitious target for Ireland of producing 70 per cent renewable electricity by 2030, which would help transform the energy sector and benefit consumers, according to the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA). The call by the IWEA, which represents the wind industry – including the majority of windfarm operators in Ireland – is based on the findings of a study it commissioned which shows such a target was technically possible and, if achieved, would be cost neutral for consumers.

The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment should set this 70 per cent challenge for the renewable energy industry, said newly-appointed IWEA chief executive Dr David Connolly. Ireland had the required expertise built up over the past two decades “across academia, system operators, regulators, and the entire renewable industry to meet the target”, he told the IWEA spring conference in Dublin. Following a study by Baringa, UK consultants in energy and utilities, IWEA has published its “Energy Vision” for 2030. It highlights the risk of “a return to reliance on fossil fuels towards 2030 after the 40 per cent renewables target [for electricity] set for 2020 is met”.

World leader

The study concludes Ireland can continue to be a world leader in renewable electricity, particularly wind, but:

  • Wind power, “the least costly technology”, will need to more than double between 2020 and 2030.
  • 2,500 megawatts (MW) of solar power capacity will be needed by 2030.
  • Construction of storage capacity in the form of 1,700 MW of new batteries by 2030 will be required.
  • Power plants need to become more flexible to adjust to fluctuations in wind and solar power, though an additional 1,450 MW will be delivered from interconnectors with Britain and France.

The group’s modelling confirms the possibility of not only providing clean power for the electricity sector, but renewable energy for heat and transport. It says “426,000 electric cars could be used instead of petrol/diesel, while 279,000 heat pumps could replace existing oil boilers in Irish homes by 2030”. Dr Connolly said a bright green future for Ireland was possible “if we have the ambition and the backing to grasp it . . . not only could our 2030 landscape be driven by clean, home grown renewables, but it will not cost more than using fossil fuels”. Up until now the EU target of 40 per cent renewable electricity by 2020 was the key driver for the Irish wind energy sector. The EU is currently evaluating what this target should be for 2030, which is expected to be finalised next year though the Government has yet to commit to a new target.

Source: https://www.irishtimes.com/business/energy-and-resources/ireland-s-electricity-should-be-70-per-cent-renewables-by-2030-says-wind-farm-group-1.3435536

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NORWEGIAN RENEWABLE INVESTMENT IN UK – GRAND OPENING OF DUDGEON WIND FARM

Dudgeon Turbines

The Dudgeon Wind farm is now completed and fully commissioned – right on schedule. The project is the largest Norwegian renewable investment in the UK and the Dudgeon Wind farm will harness wind to power 410,000 UK homes. Statoil and Statkraft had a grand opening of Dudgeon Wind farm in Norwich/Great Yarmouth on the 22nd of November.

The opening of the offshore wind farm took place as an official ceremony in Great Yarmouth’s Town Hall – and this happens 3.5 years after the investment decision was made, and only a year and a half after marine installations started. After the successful installation of the first 6MW wind turbine in early January 2017, all 67 Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm wind turbines are now delivering electricity to the UK grid, providing clean, renewable energy to around 410,000 British homes.

Dudgeon also makes an important contribution to the UK’s renewable energy strategy and represents continued progress in the deployment of commercially viable clean technology. The support of the British government has been critical to the success of Dudgeon.

The Dundgeon Wind Farm project has required significant technical innovation from Statoil and Statkraft, and the technology transfer has been delivered through an excellent relationship with local companies and local suppliers.

East Anglia

The development of Dudgeon Wind farm has stimulated local jobs and economic growth for the East Anglia region – and the Dudgeon investment happens in the same area as an earlier Statoil renewable energy investment – The Sheringham Shoal. Together, these projects means a lot for the local economy in East Anglia.

In addition to Dudgeon, Statoil is operator for the Sheringham Shoal offshore wind farm in the UK- East Anglia, which has supplied electricity to around 200,000 homes since 2012.

The Statoil strategy is to develop from an oil and gas company to a broad energy major, Statoil will grow significantly in renewable energy, with an ambition to invest millions of Euro over the next few years. Dudgeon and East Anglia is a key part of this strategy to complement the oil and gas portfolio with profitable renewable energy solutions, as well as building upon Statoil’s already strong UK presence.

Dudgeon location

Maritime expertise

Offshore wind has been a natural place to start, as Statoil can build on their maritime expertise, experience from complex oil and gas projects and make use of their existing supplier chain. With Dudgeon in full production Statoil is well on its way to providing more than one million households in Europe with renewable electricity.

Maritime expertise in combination with improved technology and economic factors as; increased deployment and lower costs – are the key drivers turning offshore wind into an attractive power source, outcompeting traditional sources of energy in important markets.

Dudgeon Wind farm – in numbers

The Dudgeon Offshore Wind Farm is located approximately 20 miles off the North Norfolk coastline and has a maximum installed capacity of 402MW providing sufficient power to meet the annual demands of 410,000 UK homes.  The field comprises 67 turbines which are connected by 12 inter array cables to the main offshore facility which sits centrally in the field.

The offshore substation Jacket will be approx. 30m x 30m at the sea bed.  It spans a height of 48m from the cable deck to the bottom of the suction buckets.  Each bucket is 9m in diameter and 9m in height.  The Jacket will weigh approx. 1,300 tonnes once installed.

Dudgeon in numbers

Statoil Renewable Energy Portifolio in UK

Towards 2030 it is estimated that the installed capacity of offshore wind in Europe can grow from 12GW (2016) to 70 GW. Statoil wants to be a part of this development.

Statoil already has a sizeable renewables portfolio in UK – its current offshore wind portfolio has the capacity to provide more than 1 million homes with renewable energy. This includes the Sheringham Shoal wind farm and Dudgeon Wind Farm in the UK/East Anglia, and the Hywind Project in Scotland, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm, which came into production in October.

Statoil will grow significantly in renewable energy, with an ambition to invest around £9.5 billion over the next five years.

Warning – Ireland will not achieve renewable energy targets without wind

TurbinesThe Irish Wind Farmers Association said Ireland was well positioned to capitalise on its location at the western edge of Europe to rely on wind energy. Photograph: Getty Images

Developing wind energy in rural Ireland could benefit local economy, says IWFA   

Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 09:43 Updated: Wed, Nov 15, 2017, 09:50 Barry Roche

Ireland’s lack of a detailed policy plan for wind energy means the country will end up “back-sliding” on its targets to such a degree it will not achieve a 100 per cent renewable energy system by 2050, a leading figure in the wind energy sector has warned. Grattan Healy, chairman of Meitheal na Gaoithe or the Irish Wind Farmers Association, said that Ireland was well positioned to capitalise on its location at the western edge of Europe to rely on wind energy instead of fossil fuels but it was failing to do so.

“Ireland’s ‘Energy policy’, or lack thereof, as reflected in the “very vague” White Paper and various moves at EU Council level by Ireland to “water down” the Clean Energy Package, run totally contrary to what the general public, consultants, developers and others want,” said Mr Healy. “Ireland is almost uniquely placed to produce any amount of energy from wind to power the whole country and up to half of Europe. Yet we seem intent on throwing every possible obstacle in our own way and spending €6 billion a year on imported fossil fuels.”

Speaking in advance of the Irish Wind Farmers Association Annual Conference in Kilkenny on Wednesday and Thursday, Mr Healy said the Government’s failure to properly promote wind energy was having a detrimental effect on rural communities which could benefit from such a policy.

“A single wind turbine has the potential to generate tens of thousands of euros for a rural household per annum – the equivalent of another family income,” said Mr Healy whose organisation promotes the development of small to medium scale energy projects by individuals and communities. “By failing to fully develop onshore wind, this is foregone money which could be pumped directly back into the local and regional economy, saving our rural post offices, shops, creating employment and more in some of Ireland’s most disadvantaged rural communities.”

According to Mr Healy, Government policy makers seem “to be intent on pandering” to a small percentage of the population opposed to wind energy and are intent on scaremongering rather than engaging in a meaningful way with communities about the benefits of wind energy. He said Ireland must invest in information campaigns and meaningful discussions about wind energy and “stop the misinformation and scaremongering”.

Mr Healy said the association believes that Ireland urgently needs a proper electricity market design, which is ‘for’ and not ‘against’ renewable energy. He also said that many in the industry see the European Union as being hostile towards the wind energy sector. “Very specific, positive and excellent demands were made by the Citizens Assembly for action in this sector but the prevailing policy seems to be more focused on paying fines rather than taking action,” said Mr Healy who will welcome delegates to the conference at the Lyrath Estate on Wednesday evening.

https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/warning-ireland-will-not-achieve-renewable-energy-targets-without-wind-1.3292602

GREBE Project holds green business & renewable energy workshop in Norway

Narvik Science Park (NSP) hosted a green business/renewable energy workshop from 21th to 22th March 2017 – with focus on new policy mechanisms and the policy agenda in different sectors of renewable energy. A registration of 110 participants means that renewable energy is hot also in the Arctic areas. 

Policy workshops

The arrangement of policy workshops in the GREBE-Project is to provide information on the existing policies and business support funding mechanisms in each partner region, which relate to developing business opportunities in the renewables sector – and (for the Narvik policy workshop) also to provide access to professional contacts/networks in Northern – Norway (NPA Region), in order to disseminate information on new policy models and business funding options.

The workshops are a fundamental part of identifying the existing policies and business support funding mechanisms that already exist in each partner region, and in assessing how effective those policies and mechanisms have been. The work will then concentrate on identifying new initiatives which will further promote renewable energy business development in each partner region – and ensure that interventions are made.

Key objectives

  • To identify and promote opportunities for policy to provide an effective supporting framework for sustainable renewable energy business.
  • To promote awareness and understanding of funding support, mechanisms available to assist renewable energy businesses, start ups and SME enterprises in NPA regions

The seven sectors below were represented at the workshop:

  1. Co2- capture and storage (CCS)
  2. Hydro Power
  3. Electricity Distribution
  4. Energy Efficiency
  5. Solar Cell Technology
  6. Wind Technology
  7. Small Hydro Power Plants

Further information about GREBEs policy and funding mechanisms analysis can be found on the publications page of the project website http://grebeproject.eu/publication/