Head of Sustainability, IDA Ireland
The Atlantic Ocean gives Ireland a major advantage: the frequent and consistent winds create potential for substantial wind energy production, particularly large-scale and offshore wind energy.
Ireland is the second highest user of renewable wind electricity in Europe. Currently producing 4GW of wind electricity onshore, Ireland has committed to installing 5GW of offshore capacity by 2030.
The commitment to grow renewable energy capacity is huge, with many commentators seeing Ireland as a major exporter of renewable energy, such as hydrogen, in the years to come. With the EU Climate Change 2030 Plan becoming an increasingly urgent framework, Ireland is setting ambitious targets to enact change.
Increasing use of wind resources
Ireland’s updated Climate Action Plan strives to generate more energy from wind resources and another major focus will be decarbonising the electricity system to 80% by 2030. Approximately 150 countries worldwide have currently pledged to become net zero by 2050; Ireland has pushed its ambitions a step further by seeking to decrease its own emissions by 51% across all sectors by 2030.
With these goals now set in law, industry experts consider the country’s decarbonisation targets to be the most aggressive in the world. Transitioning to electric vehicles and transport and reducing agricultural emissions will also be key targets for Ireland moving forward.
Growing impact of Ireland’s decarbonisation
IDA Ireland, the agency responsible for the attraction and retention of inward foreign direct investment into Ireland, partners with multinational investors to increase the impact and the rate of industry decarbonisation in Ireland.
In line with national ambition, IDA’s strategy for sustainable investment works to build strong future proof economy targets by encouraging ‘high-carbon-fuel’ clients and ‘high-energy’ clients to switch to low carbon alternatives and renewables. It also positions decarbonisation, innovation, skills and the green economy at the forefront of client investment in Ireland.
Industry use of wind power
Working with IDA to enhance the sustainability of its operations, Johnson & Johnson has installed four 3MW wind turbines, three combined heat and power units and 667 panel roof-mounted solar PV panels. Two wind farms will supply all the company’s electrical power needs, thanks to its Wind Power Purchase Agreement.
Not far from Johnson & Johnson, pharma manufacturer Lilly delivered a new solar farm in 2021 to transition the manufacturer’s energy needs to carbon free sources, and deliver 6GW of power, removing 2,350 tonnes of carbon.