While new records for wind energy output were set and significant new policies supporting wind energy were announced, 2021 was not an auspicious year for wind energy deployment in Ireland. Despite ambitious 2030 renewable energy targets, only 9.3MW of new capacity was installed.
This was due to a gap between the termination of the legacy REFIT support scheme and the commencement of installation of capacity under the new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). There is a pipeline of fully consented onshore projects for the latter, and a surge in construction is expected in 2022 for wind farms awarded support under the 1st RESS auction. Significant progress was made on the consenting, leasing, grid connection, and support scheme for offshore wind in 2022, the earliest date for the commencement of operation of new offshore wind farms is 2027.
A significant number of wind energy research projects were successful in obtaining funding under SEAI’s 2022 RD&D funding call. Irish entities were also successful partners in funding awards for EU wind energy research projects. Ireland also increased its participation in IEA Wind Tasks to an all-time high of 17 after a 2021 SEAI call for participants.
Visit the Irish Wind Energy Research Network webpage, and please review Ireland's chapter in the IEA Wind TCP 2021 Annual Report.