Sunday 23 January 2022

Ireland Ranks near bottom of Renewable Targets Table

 Wind Energy Oriented Renewable Plans Fared Badly

Ireland just about reached it's 2020 renewable target of 16% equalling Poland, a country not exactly renowned for its love of the "green religion". Ireland ranked 20th out of the 27th member states. Only Belgium, Luxembourg, Malta, Holland and Hungary ranked lower.

So the question must be asked - where did Ireland go wrong after spending billions on renewable energy and building 5,000MW of wind farms ? 

Surely if wind speeds are so high in Ireland as we are often told, then Ireland should be in the top 10 of Europe ? 

Sweden, Croatia, Finland, Bulgaria, Latvia and Austria topped the list of renewable energy performers in the EU.

Here are the main sources of renewable energy for each country :

Sweden - hydro, biomass. Exports a lot of electricity to Finland.

Croatia - hydro with some wind and solar. Imports a lot of electricity.

Bulgaria - hydro and solar. 

Finland - biomass and hydro. Imports a lot of electricity from Sweden and Russia.

Latvia - biomass and hydro.

Austria - biomass and hydro.

And for countries outside the EU - - 

Iceland - geothermal.

Norway - hydro. Norway has 65 times as much hydro as wind.

This clearly shows that the most successful renewables are Hydro and bioenergy/biomass. There are also significant benefits to interconnection especially if the neighbouring country has a lot of hydro. For instance, Denmark has a similar amount of wind energy to Ireland, but relies heavily on imports from hydro based electricity in Norway and Sweden which means wind has to do a lot less heavy lifting than in Ireland (because imported electricity is emission free). Denmark ranks in the top 10 of the EU renewable energy targets table for this reason.

It looks like Ireland backed the wrong horse with wind energy.  However, based on past performance, it is unlikely that Ireland will put the brakes on and assess the situation.


  1. The big problem with wind generation is that it actually saves very little to no CO2 Emissions.What ever CO2 emissions that are saved by restructuring of the grid is caused by the move over to gas. Especially when operating combined cycle gas. There are virtually no CO2 savings when the preponderance of electricity is generated by Open Cycle Gas. Crazy Eamon and advisors never even attempted to model the likely output of the grid with a large capacity of wind generation.I reckon it is because they would would come up against the intermittency problem. Solving that, the intermittency problem, in a model would be impossible. Solving the intermittency problem in an operating grid with loads of wind generating capacity is also impossible.

  2. This is propaganda. There are two types of renewable energy and both are rare 1) is reliable firm type which can supply the grid with no other source running along side it. 2) the other is unreliable intermittent type which needs constant fossil fuel back up generation inn the power station. Iceland has geothermal power plants because it is located on the meeting fault of the American and European tectonic plates. Its other resource if fish. It has virtually no land or other assets. It is not comparable with Ireland which has land and assets. Norway has mountain rivers which are of little agricultural value. They produce Hydro power. Understanding this distinction is vital.