Against the wind

Installation of wind turbines in Ireland has now fallen to almost zero and the country is now at serious risk of not reaching EU targets for renewable energy by 2010.

Attendees of the 2002 Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) Conference in Nenagh, County Tipperary in Ireland this month were told that installation of wind turbines in Ireland has now fallen to almost zero and the country is now at serious risk of not reaching EU targets for renewable energy by 2010.

IWEA Policy Committee Chairman, Dr. Aidan Forde, told conference delegates that while the Government had been big on developing policy and targets for renewable energy, it was not big on delivering results.

‘Ministerial correspondence and speeches never refer to results – just to targets and programmes. But progress is all that counts in the real world and the Minister and his staff have not delivered,’ Dr Forde said.

With some key changes to the way the Government has approached the wind energy industry in Ireland (as outlined in its 2002 Policy Document) the IWEA believes that the targets set by the EU can not only be achieved but also exceeded.

‘In order to ensure that wind derived power achieves a high penetration in the Irish energy industry, apart from the need for incentives there also needs to be the installation of a high capacity link with the UK, provision for the ‘constraining-off ‘ of wind farms at times of weak grid conditions, and the use by EirGrid of reliable forecasting of wind energy availability,’ Forde said.

‘Unless the Government is prepared to drastically reconsider its approach to, and support of, our industry it is destined to spectacularly fail to reach the minimum targets set by the EU,’ Forde added.