About €513m was spent on the deployment of wind energy infrastructure in Ireland last year as 224 megawatts of extra capacity was installed.
The annual report from the European Wind Energy Association (EWEA) said that Ireland now has a total of 2.4 gigawatts of wind energy generation capacity. There’s about three gigawatts across the entire island.
That’s enough to power almost two million homes on the entire island. Previous data has shown that 24pc of the island’s entire electricity usage was met by indigenous wind power during 2015.
The EWEA said that 2015 was a record year for the installation of both on-shore and off-shore wind turbines in Europe, with €26.4bn of equipment deployed. That was 40pc more than was spent in 2014.
The total cumulative installed base of wind energy infrastructure reached 141.6 gigawatts last year, with 131 gigawatts of that on-shore and the remained off-shore. There’s now enough turbines installed to generate up to 11.4pc of Europe’s total electricity demand.
There was six gigawatts of capacity installed in Germany last year alone, bringing the total base there to just under 45 gigawatts.
Spain has the next biggest installed base, at 23 gigawatts, followed by France with 10.3 gigawatts.
There was no new capacity installed in Spain last year, however, due to what the EWEA claimed were inadequate policies there.
The EWEA said that it expects the amount of wind energy infrastructure installed during 2016 to dip compared to last year.
It said that uncertainty over the outlook for 2017 as Germany switches to a tendering system, and a lack of regulatory clarity in other markets such as the UK, Poland and Spain, will impact the deployment of infrastructure.
Last month, Siemens secured an order for 36 turbines to equip Ireland’s largest windfarm, in Co Galway.
The Galway Wind Park is a joint venture between Airtricity owner SSE and Coillte. They completed a €176m financing deal last month for the final stage of the project. It will have a total of 169MW of potential power output.
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