Wind powers 20pc of our electricity needs
MORE than one-fifth of our daily electricity needs are now met from wind energy, new figures show.
National grid operator EirGrid said Ireland was on track to meet a target by 2020 that 40pc of its power comes from renewable resources, with enough turbines sufficient to power almost 120,000 homes coming on stream this year alone.
The Annual Renewables Report shows that an average of 17pc of the island's daily demand was met from renewables last year -- 18pc in the Republic, and 13pc in the North.
While wind turbines are controversial because of their impact on the landscape and noise, they allow for power generation without burning fossil fuels such as oil, gas and peat, which produce carbon emissions and result in climate change.
At times, up to 50pc of all power is produced by wind. If we meet our 40pc target, overall emissions will drop by 38pc.
EirGrid Group chief executive Fintan Slye said we had set "ambitious" targets for 2020, and that "solid progress" had been achieved.
"It is important that we build on this momentum as we strive to meet our target of 40pc renewable electricity generation by 2020," he added.
EirGrid is currently involved in an upgrade of the national grid to allow more renewables on the system.
However, some of the upgrade includes hundreds of kilometres of high-voltage power lines, some erected on towers up to 45 metres high, which have caused controversy.
A public consultation on a high-voltage line from Cork to Kildare via Wexford runs until the end of January. It will run through nine counties.