A historic deal between the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) and the UK government could pave the way for exploiting Ireland’s natural wind energy resources.
Following a meeting of the British Irish Council to co-operate on exploiting the major wind resources in and around Ireland, Irish Wind Energy Association chief executive Doctor Michael Walsh told SiliconRepublic.com that the fortcoming deal could be seen in time as a milestone moment for the country in terms of maximising the potential of the wind sector.
'It’s early days yet and we await the detail of what's in the deal but it certainly is a major step in the right direction and potentially paves the way for what we believe could be a 1.6 billion euro annual export industry for Ireland and total new employment in the sector of 28,000 jobs.
'This deal, perhaps more than anything else that has gone before, recognises the huge potential from wind energy on the island of Ireland, given that it is a trading partner and not just ourselves that has recognised that the wind resource we have here is unique and largely underutilised. We have long since in the IWEA trumpeted the potential for exporting wind energy from Ireland and this deal will hopefully bring it to fruition, sooner rather than later,' Walsh added.
'This all-islands approach will, we anticipate, facilitate a significant increase in wind-energy development here and finally maximise our under-utilised resource,' Walsh said.
'All European countries have a legally binding agreement with the EU to deliver a fixed share of their energy from renewable sources. Fortunately, Ireland can meet our 16 percent renewable energy target very economically and go well beyond that.'