70pc of our electricity 'to come from renewables by 2030'
Ireland will get 70pc of its electricity from renewable energy sources by 2030 under new plans.
Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton is to set more ambitious targets for the use of wind farms, particularly offshore.
The move will be controversial in some areas where residents are fighting to prevent the erection of turbines - but Mr Bruton said his proposal was "wise and far-seeing".
"We must step up our response to climate disruption. We have a very short window of opportunity in which to take action," he said.
Currently, just 30pc of Irish electricity comes from renewables. The existing aim is for 55pc renewable energy by 2030.
However, Mr Bruton said the country would need to get "much bigger climate impact by switching to electric vehicles and renewable heat systems, such as heat pumps".
"This target will require investment in onshore and offshore wind and other renewable technologies.
"To deliver this target will require significant leadership from the Government but we are determined to deliver on our climate commitments. It will challenge the capacity of our electricity grid."
Asked whether the shift will result in higher electricity costs for consumers, the minister said this would not be an immediate effect.
However, he said there would be a significant cost attached to the plan over a number of years.
"Our whole investment pattern will shift to achieve this," he said.
A new billboard campaign will be launched today to highlight the central role wind can play in fighting climate change.
Dr David Connolly, CEO of the Irish Wind Energy Association, said: "Our billboard campaign is highlighting the role wind energy has played in leading the move away from fossil fuels and towards clean, renewable, electricity. The more wind energy we use, the fewer our CO2 emissions."
The posters will appear on billboards over the next two weeks.