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Sparks

Ireland Just Set a New Wind Energy Record

A whopping 70% of the island’s electricity was generated by wind turbines on Wednesday.

Offshore wind.
Heatmap Illustration/Getty Images

The “green” puns pretty much write themselves. On Wednesday, Ireland set an all-time high for wind output on the Irish grid at 4,629 megawatts, Green Collective reports.

By midnight Thursday, wind had accounted for a smidgen over 70% of Ireland’s total electricity demands for the day.

In 2022, Ireland ranked third in the world, alongside Uruguay, when it came to its share of electricity generated by wind power: 33%. Only perennial wind leader Denmark, which generated a whopping 55% of its electricity from gusty weather last year, and surging Lithuania (38%), edged it out.

It’s not just — forgive me — luck, either. According to the COP28 Global Offshore Wind Update, a new report from industry consultancy ERM published yesterday, only two countries out of the 19 that have 2030 offshore wind targets are expected to hit them: Ireland being one, and Poland being the other, Recharge writes. Most of its current wind capacity, however, is from onshore wind farms.

Ireland’s wind generation information is easily accessible from EirGrid, making the region a favorite case study among energy nerds — including the creators of the charming Irish Energy Bot (which later evolved into Green Collective). Earlier this year, the account also celebrated wind generation exceeding “all-island electricity demand” in Ireland for the first time, during overnight hours and Storm Agnes-related gusts. According to EuroNews, such trends have translated into significant savings:

[As of September, the] latest figures mean that in total, Irish wind farms provided 32% of the country’s power over the first eight months of 2023. Electricity prices on days with the most wind power dropped by an average of 5% to €88.34 [$95] per megawatt-hour.

On days when Ireland relied almost entirely on fossil fuels, that cost rose to €123.07 [$132] per megawatt-hour.

With numbers like that, who needs a crummy old pot of gold?

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Jeva Lange profile image

Jeva Lange

Jeva is a founding staff writer at Heatmap. Her writing has also appeared in The Week, where she formerly served as executive editor and culture critic, as well as in The New York Daily News, Vice, and Gothamist, among others. Jeva lives in New York City.

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