Ireland is in a “precarious position” when it comes to security of energy supply, according to a prominent renewable energy expert.
evin O’Donovan, managing director of Statkraft Ireland, said increased production from wind and solar power will make power outages less likely and lead to lower consumer prices.
âOur prices have always been high because our security of supply is extraordinarily low. We depend on importing almost all of our energy needs via fossil fuels, âhe told the Commission. Independent Irish.
“More renewables on the system is actually going to improve our prices.”
Eirgrid, which manages the flow of electricity to Irish homes, issued an “orange alert” last winter as it warned of record energy demand. He also estimated that data centers will consume around a third of Ireland’s electricity demand by 2028.
The government has pledged to produce 70% of its electricity from renewables by 2030 – up from 43% last year – which would require an additional capacity of five gigawatts (equivalent to 5,000 megawatts or MW) .
Statkraft got approval for two onshore wind farms at the government’s renewable electricity auction last year: one at Cloghan in Co Offaly (37.8 megawatts, or MW) and another at Taghart in Co Cavan (25.2 MW).
He is also seeking approval for a flagship offshore project in the Irish Sea, known as the North Irish Sea Array (NISA), which could generate up to 500 MW of renewable electricity and power 500,000 homes. .
Statkraft, headquartered in Norway, now considers Ireland one of its main markets, having acquired the Irish operations of Element Power in 2018.
“We are a country which has sufficient resources to supply our own electricity,” said Mr. O’Donovan. âOur renewable resources are actually far more important than what we will ever need for our demand. “
However, there is still “a lot of work to be done” to ensure that the grid can access this electricity and distribute it to Irish households, Mr O’Donovan said.
Statkraft recently completed a second Irish battery project, located in County Kerry, which can provide a reserve of power to the national grid in the event of a sudden drop in supply.
He spoke to Independent Irish ahead of the launch of the government’s new ‘Nordic strategy’, which promotes closer trade and diplomatic relations with Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden.