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definition - Wind_power_in_the_Republic_of_Ireland

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Wind power in the Republic of Ireland

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On the 19th Jan 2010, the Republic of Ireland had an installed wind power capacity of 1568.4 megawatts[1]. Recent years have seen seen a marked increase in the level of wind power generation, three times more than the total of 495.2 megawatts in 2005. In 2008 alone, the rate of growth was 54.6%, amongst the highest in the world.[2] On July 31, 2009, the output from the country's turbines peaked at 999 megawatts. During certain times that day, up to 39 percent of Ireland’s demand for electricity was met from wind.[3] On October 24, 2009, the output exceeded 1000 megawatts for the first time with a peak of 1064 MW.

File:Ballywater WindFarm from MorrisCastle Wexford May2007.JPG
View of Ballywater Wind Farm in County Wexford, 21 ENERCON E-70.

Contents

Background

In the Directive[4] 2001/77/EC, otherwise known as the RES-E Directive, the European Union stated a goal to have 22% of the total energy consumed by member states to be produced from renewable energy resources by 2010. As a result the Republic of Ireland in a report titled “Policy Consideration for Renewable Electricity to 2010” made the commitment to have 4% of its total energy consumption come from renewable energy resources by 2002 and 13.2% by 2010. The Department of Communications Marine and Natural Resources (DCMNR) founded the Renewable Energy Group (REG) which established the short term analysis group (STAG) to investigate a means of accomplishing this goal. To meet the 2010 target of 13.2%, 1,432 MW of electricity will need to be generated from renewable resources with 1,100 MW being generated from wind resources both on-shore and off-shore.

Current Issues

There are a few issues facing current development and deployment of wind energy.

Grid Connection Timing
Grid connection is currently awarded on a ‘first come, first connect’ basis through Gate 3procedures. On examination of the Gate 3 queue, there are a number of large onshore andoffshore wind projects that are down the list and will, therefore, be offered grid connectiontowards the end of the anticipated 18-month processing period commencing in December2009.[5]

Planning Permission
Wind farms currently are given a planning permission that expires after five years. But, the application process for securing a connection to the grid is six years. Extensions to the planning permissions may be granted if a significant amount of work has been completed on the wind farm. However, there is no standard or minimum of accepted amount of work that needs to be completed to be granted an extension of the planning permission. This causes some developers to not begin work on a wind farm until a grid connection is guaranteed, which slows the process of fulfilling necessary development to meet the 2010 and future energy goals.

REFIT
The fourth issue regarding the generation of wind power is the Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff, or REFIT. The purpose of REFIT is to encourage development of renewable energy resources. For wind power production, the current limit to the tariff is 1,450 MW. However, applications currently being processed for grid connections exceed the limit by almost 1,500 MW for a total for nearly 3,000 MW. Since the limit is 1,450 MW, many of the applications for grid connections may not eligible for the tariff.[6]

Arklow Bank Wind Park

The Arklow Bank Wind Park, located 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) off the coast of Arklow on the Arklow Bank in the Irish Sea, was Ireland’s first off-shore wind farm. The wind farm is owned and built by GE Energy and was co-developed by Airtricity and GE Energy. The site currently has 7 GE Energy 3.6 MW turbines that generate a total of 25 MW. The development of the site has been divided into two phases with the first phase being the first 7 turbines. The second phase, which is in current development, is a partnership between Airtricity and ACCIONA Energia. ACCIONA Energia has an option to buy the project after the facility is completed. The wind farm has current plans to expand the site to generate 520 MW of power.

Although the waters off the Atlantic coastline of Ireland is a better site for wind farms because of the available wind resources, sites along the eastern coastline such as Arklow were chosen for the first wind farms because of the shallower waters, which are 20m (65.62 ft.) or less.

Economic Impact

The European Union has estimated that the current cost for wind energy is 26 €c/kWh. Although this much higher than the 15 €c/kWh for fossil fuel generated energy, the SEI, Sustainable Energy Ireland, has said that “external costs” of fossil fuel generated electricity needs to be considered in the overall energy cost. These “external costs” include the harvesting, processing, use of fossil fuels; the disposal of waste, and the health problems caused by the pollution generated.

There has been some controversy surrounding the costs involved of the use wind farms to supply electricity. A report by the Commission for Energy Regulation and Northern Ireland titled “Impact of High Levels of Wind Penetration in 2020 on the Electricity Market” states that in order for savings from wind generated power to be significant, oil would have to reach $200 per barrel. The report goes on to say that wind power will need to be subsidized as long as oil is around $100 a barrel or less.

Completed onshore wind farms

Wind FarmCompletedGrid Connection Capacity (MW)TurbinesTypeLocation
Altagowlan [7]20057.69Gamesa 850County Roscommon
Anarget20061.22ENERCON E-40County Donegal
Anarget Extension20070.91ENERCON E-44County Donegal
Ballybane20083013ENERCON E-70 2.3 MWCounty Cork
Ballywater20054221ENERCON E-70 2MWCounty Wexford
Bindoo [8]20074832GE 1.5MWCounty Cavan
Booltiagh [9]200519.513GE 1.5County Clare
Carnsore [10]200211.914VestasCounty Wexford
Coomacheo [11]200841.418Siemens 2.3VSCounty Cork
Coomatallin [12]200564GE 1.5SECounty Cork
Cornacahan20072.553ENERCON E-44County Donegal
Corneen [13]200132GE 1.5SCounty Cavan
Crockahenny [14]1998510ENERCON E-40 5.40County Donegal
Cronelea20076.93ENERCON E-70 2.3MWCounty Wexford
Cronelea Upper [15]20052.553Vestas V52 850County Wicklow
Culliagh [16]20001218Vestas V47County Donegal
Derrybrien [17]20066070Vestas V52 850County Galway
Dundalk IT [18]20050.851Vestas V52 850County Louth
Flughland [19]20099.24ENERCON E-70 2.3MWCounty Donegal
Gartnaneane [20]20041510GE 1.5SCounty Cavan
Geevagh [21]200656Gamesa G52850County Sligo
Glackmore2008 November2.31ENERCON E-70 2.3 MWCounty Donegal
Gneeves [22]20059.3511Vestas V52County Cork
Kilgarvan [23]20064515Vestas V90 3MWCounty Kerry
Killybegs200713.86ENERCON E-70 2.3MWCounty Donegal
Kilronan [24][25]1998510Vestas V39 500County Roscommon
Kilvinane [26]20064.53Gamesa G850County Cork
Kingsmountain [27]20032510Nordex N80County Sligo
Knockawarriga [28]200822.59Nordex N90 2.5MWCounty Limerick
Lackan20066.93ENERCON E-70 2.3MWCounty Sligo
Largan Hill [29]20005.99Vestas V47 660County Roscommon
Lisheen [30]20093618Vestas V90County Tipperary
Lurganboy2008 May5.06ENERCON E-44County Donegal
Meentycat[31]20057238Siemens 2.3MWCounty Donegal
Midas [32]200732.2423Vestas V90 and V52County Kerry
Moanmore [33]2006147Enercon E-70 E4County Clare
Mullananalt [34]20087.55GE 1.5County Monaghan
Munignaminnane2008 November13.818ENERCON E-44 and E-48County Kerry
Rahora2008 December45ENERCON E-48County Cork
Richfield [35]20062718GE 1.5County Wexford
Shannagh20092.553ENERCON E-44County Donegal
Sheeragh2008 Nov/Dec4.62ENERCON E-70 2.3MWCounty Donegal
Sorne Hill20063216ENERCON E-70 2MWCounty Donegal
Tournafulla20072718GE 1.5MWCounty Limerick

Completed offshore wind farms

Wind FarmCompletedGrid Connection Capacity (MW)TurbinesTypeLocation
Arklow Bank[36]2004257GE 3.6s OffshoreCounty Wicklow

List of proposed or under construction wind farms

Wind FarmScheduledCapacity (MW)TurbinesTypeOperatorLocationType
Codling [37]Unknown1100220UnknownCodling Wind FarmCounty WicklowOffshore
Curragh [38]2009 September188Siemens 2.3VSAirtricityCounty CorkOnshore
Dronada [39]2010 March28.519GE 1.5AirtricityCounty LimerickOnshore
Dublin Array [40]2013364145unknownSaorgus [41]County DublinOffshore
Glenmore2009 Summer3010VESTAS V90Clare Winds LtdCounty ClareOnshore
Knockastana [42]2010 March46GE 1.5AirtricityCounty LimerickOnshore
Moneypoint [43]Unknown22.59UnknownHibernian WindpowerCounty ClareOnshore
Mount Callan [44]Unknown90303MWWest Clare Renewable EnergyCounty ClareOnshore
Oriel [45]201333055UnknownOriel Windfarm LtdCounty LouthOffshore
Pallas2008 December4020Enercon E-70 2MWPallas Wind Farms LtdCounty KerryOnshore
Skerd Rocks [46]Unknown100205MWFST [47]County GalwayOffshore

See also

Ireland portal
Energy portal

References

External links

  • www.sei.ie - Sustainable Energy Ireland, Ireland's national energy agency.
  • www.iwea.ie - Irish Wind Energy Association
  • [5] - Arklow Bank Wind Park, GE Brochure
  • [6] - Sustainable Energy Ireland's report on policies for Renewable Energy programs

 

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