KPMG published a new report for NOW Ireland in respect of the growing renewable energy demand in Ireland and the scale of the opportunity that this represents, particularly in offshore wind. The report reviews the various technology options to meet the demand for renewables, and where and how offshore wind can be a key part of the solution.
Ireland is expected to experience strong, sustained growth in electricity demand between now and 2030. In an analysis of various future energy scenarios, EirGrid estimated that Ireland’s total electricity requirement will increase by between 22% and 53% by 2031. This will be due to both economic growth, as well as specific growth in high energy industries, such as data centres and electric vehicles.
The increase in supply to meet that demand must come from renewable sources in order to satisfy national and EU targets. Ireland has set a target that 40% of all electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020, rising to at least 55% by 2030, with many industry participants encouraging 70% by 2030.
While solar and onshore wind can and will play a key role, offshore wind’s scale and deployment capacity means it has to be at the centre of our strategy to meet this demand. Dramatic reductions in technology prices and improved performance now mean that offshore wind costs a fraction of historic pricing, with a trajectory to hit parity with other technologies in the medium term.
The report’s author, Mike Hayes, Global Head of Renewables, KPMG and Partner in KPMG Ireland, said.
Paddy Teahon Chairman of NOW Ireland underlined that in order to achieve Government targets and stimulate investment and activity in the industry, the critical policy actions that have to be put in place are:
- Inclusion of technology-specific supports for offshore wind within the proposed renewable electricity support scheme (“RESS”)
- Issue foreshore leases under the current Foreshore Act to enable Irish sea projects to commence development in the immediate term
- Introduce a Foreshore Amendment Act dealing specifically with offshore wind
- Implement a specific offshore wind grid connection round for Irish sea projects
These projects could deliver c.1000MW of capacity in the immediate future, and an additional c.3000MW by 2030.