For Ireland, It’s The Planning Of The Green

When it comes to developing offshore renewable energy resources effectively, geography dictates that Ireland and the United Kingdom have to collaborate. But when it comes to integrating these resources into domestic energy portfolios, each country is on its own. The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Ireland‘s national energy authority, has released three “energy roadmaps,” developed to shape the country’s energy policy through 2050.

The latest roadmaps outline the potential impacts of integrating smart grid technologies, increasing Ireland’s wind energy capacity and transitioning to electric vehicles. The reports offer insight into Ireland’s potential to create jobs, reduce carbon emissions and integrate domestic energy resources to reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels.

offshore wind power plant

image via Wikimedia Commons

Key findings of the roadmaps include:

  • Ireland will have 1.4 GW of generation capacity by 2025, and add another 1.6 GW by 2040. By implementing smart grid infrastructure and its associated technologies, Ireland can save €3.2-€7.2 billion, and create more than 10,000 jobs.
  • Electric vehicles will account for 60 percent of Ireland’s passenger vehicle fleet by 2050. Deploying 1.8 million electric vehicles will save €3.8 -€7.5 billion in fuel import costs.
  • Ireland can deploy between 11 -16 gigawatts (GW) of onshore wind and 30 GW of offshore wind by 2050–equal to 5 percent of the European Union’s wind power generation. Harnessing these resources can offset up to €10 billion and create 20,000 jobs by 2040.

“The roadmaps unveiled today are a further important mapping of the long term opportunities in energy and the road to a decarbonised energy system for Ireland,” Professor J. Owen Lewis, chief executive of SEAI, said in a statement. “They show a great many benefits, including reduced energy imports leading to increased security of supply, increased use of renewables leading to lower carbon dioxide emissions and significant employment and economic opportunities. Importantly, the roadmaps assist in informing the necessary decisions and actions about our long term ambition for sustainable energy in Ireland.”

Lauren Craig is a writer and consultant living in Seattle, WA. She holds an M.S. in International Development from Tulane University, and is co-founder of Sustainable Systems Integrators, LLC., an employee-owned solar energy design and installation firm in New Orleans, LA. She is also certified in PV design and installation by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).