Wind energy ‘saves’ Ireland €70 million this year
In the first six months of 2016, wind energy has ‘saved’ Ireland €70 million in foreign energy imports.
According to figures compiled by the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA), domestic wind energy has met 22 percent of Ireland’s total electricity demand since the start of this year. The country’s overall wind capacity recently reached a record peak of 2,500MW — enough energy to power some 1.6 million homes.
On 28 January, wind energy output hit 2132MW for Ireland, representing almost 60 percent of electricity demand at that time.
“Apart from easing our dependency on fossil fuel imports, wind energy is delivering real tangible value to electricity consumers, is promoting significant investment and jobs in our communities, and is helping to protect our environment for future generations,” said Brian Dawson, Head of Communications at the IWEA.
At present, Ireland imports 85 percent of its energy, placing it 35 percent above the European average for energy imports.
Today, there are over 200 wind farms operating in Ireland, with the wind energy sector employing over 3,400 people nationwide, a figure which is projected to grow to over 8,000 by 2020.
Drax advances biomass strategy with Pinnacle acquisition
The Group’s enlarged supply chain will have access to 4.9 million tonnes of operational capacity from 2022. Of this total, 2.9 million tonnes are available for Drax’s self-supply requirements in 2022, which will rise to 3.4 million tonnes in 2027.
The £424 million acquisition of the Canadian biomass pellet producer supports Drax' ambition to be carbon negative by 2030, using bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) and will make a "significant contribution" in the UK cutting emissions by 78% by 2035 (click here).
This summer Drax will undertake maintenance on its CfD(2) biomass unit, including a high-pressure turbine upgrade to reduce maintenance costs and improve thermal efficiency, contributing to lower generation costs for Drax Power Station.
In March, Drax secured Capacity Market agreements for its hydro and pumped storage assets worth around £10 million for delivery October 2024-September 2025.
The limitations on BECCS are not technology but supply, with every gigatonne of CO2 stored per year requiring approximately 30-40 million hectares of BECCS feedstock, according to the Global CCS Institute. Nonetheless, BECCS should be seen as an essential complement to the required, wide-scale deployment of CCS to meet climate change targets, it concludes.