Ireland's Wind Electricity Output Exceeds Energy Demand
For the first time ever, wind power generation in Ireland temporarily surpassed the total electricity demand for the entire island, as reported by Rosie Frost for Euronews.green.
During the early hours of a Tuesday morning, wind generation reached a peak of 3,642 MW. I Photo: Wind Energy Ireland (WEI)
During the early hours of a Tuesday morning, wind generation reached a peak of 3,642 MW. While strong winds associated with Storm Agnes were a contributing factor, it's not uncommon for wind generation to reach such levels.
What made this occurrence exceptional was that it exceeded the electricity demand on Ireland's grid for the entire island.
Justin Moran, Director of External Affairs at Wind Energy Ireland (WEI), described this achievement as a "major milestone for Ireland's wind farms." It highlights the country's potential to decarbonize its electricity system.
However, there are some important nuances to consider regarding this wind power achievement. Ireland's electricity grid currently has a maximum limit of 75% for renewables in its energy mix.
As a result, some of the excess energy was exported to Britain, and Ireland had to meet the remaining demand using fossil fuels.
This limit has been progressively raised from 50% to 75% since 2011 and is expected to further increase to 95% by 2030. This limitation is in place because transitioning to entirely renewable power requires significant changes to the country's electricity grid.