Thursday, 22 October 2015

Little Evidence That Wind Reduces CO2 Emissions

Minister admits Ireland won't meet it's 2020 Emission Targets

Minister for Environment Alan Kelly has said it is no secret that Ireland is not going to meet the EU greenhouse emissions targets for 2020. He said that there was understanding in the EU that Ireland had come through a tough recession and that should be recognised in the targets set for each State after the overall target has been ratified. He said capital investment to adapt and mitigate was now beginning at a level that was required. He said this could not happen when times were tough. - Minister For Environment, October 2015.
A significant component of the Government's strategy for reducing emissions is to pepper the countryside with wind farms. The assumption that they contribute to lower emissions is backed up by little, if any, evidence.

The below graph shows little or no correlation between installed wind and solar and CO2 Reduction :

What did cause a reduction in emissions was the economic recession in 2008. In the below graph, it is self evident, that the resultant reduction in energy consumption (a direct consequence of the economic recession), brought about a reduction in emissions. The PIIGS countries (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) had their combined energy consumption reduced by 15% between 2007 and 2014 causing a 30% drop in emissions :

So the Minister is wrong on both counts - 1) installing more wind farms will not reduce emissions and 2) the economic recession, rather than acting as a barrier to emissions reduction, actually brought about the most significant reduction in emissions for many a year.


Euan Mearns and Roger Andrews - Energy Matters Website


  1. Increasing peak national demand by 20% plus by proliferating construction of energy-hungry datacentres is sure going to drive that graph north and further reduce any possibility of approaching the target.
    But then, perhaps the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation has different objectives from those of Minister Kelly.

    1. Its a very incoherent policy isn't it ? It's almost like Alice in Wonderland, everything is upside down.