Impact of renewable energy in the island of Ireland

Executive summary

The report is structured on the impact of renewable energy in the island of Ireland. It is an attempt made by an 11-island advisory committee to spread the use of renewable energy sources in Ireland. With the aid from the government and other respective governing bodies, the plan has been structured and is expected to be implemented. The target set for the project of Energy Policy is 2035.


Renewable energy is the energy that is being collected from different types of resources, which are renewable. These resources are naturally available and are replenished naturally on the basis of the human timescale and the resources that are present in the surrounding like air, wind, rain, tides and many other resources. The renewable energy mostly provides energy that is in the form of electricity, air and water heating, transportation and rural energy services. It has been noted that the increase in the rate of renewable energy across the island of Ireland is highly effective in order to ensure that the island is being able to provide the population with effective energy resources. This paper is saved on the planning that is to be made in order to ensure total final energy support to be provided on the island by the year 2035.

Current Context

This section of the paper is based on the identification of the status that is present in the island of the country in Ireland in terms of the renewable energy that is present.

Current energy consumption in Ireland by different categories - electricity generation, heating and transport

In terms of the current energy consumption that is present in Ireland based on the electricity generation, heating and transport, it has been noted that the country is being sufficiently dependent on the renewable energy sources that are present in the country. It has been noted that all the energy that are being generated in the country in terms of electricity, more than one third of all the energy that are present are used up by the population in the country for every purpose and activities. It has been noted that the total flow of the electricity generation in the year 2015 is amounted to be 4,499 ktoe, which is 32% of the TPER. In the year 2015, it has been analyzed that the renewable energy generation from the fuel mix grew to 16.7 % in comparison to the 14.5% of the energy growth in the year 2014. The use of the renewable energy resources in term of electricity has been analysed to be increasing by the rate of 18.8% in the year 2015 in comparison to the year 2014.

It has been noted that for the year 2000 following the year 2014, there has been a growth in the GDP of the final energy demand. It has been analysed that the growth rate of the transportation energy in Ireland has been noted to include the private cars that had the highest energy demand in all the years has been accounting for 47% of the total transport for the final energy demand in the year 2014. Heavy Good Vehicle freight (HGV) and the aviation sector has went through effective growth in the time 2000 to 2007. There has been larger decline in the energy growth for the HGV and aviation between the years 2007 to 2014. It has been analysed that the HGV energy declination has been carried out for the percentage of more than 8.4% every year between the year range 2007 and 2014 (Luo et al. 2015).

In the year 2012, the demand for the heat energy has been the highest. It has been accounting to be more than 45% of all the primary energy sources. There have been 33% of the CO2 emissions in the year 2012. It has been analysed that the space and water heating in the residential dwellings and the services sector account has been accounting for the use of the heat energy has been more than 60% of the demand. The industrial sector has been an increase in the heat consumption of more than 30%. There has been an increase in the Natural gas use in line with the expansion of the gas grid infrastructure that is currently accounting to 38% of the what fuel inputs (Dodds et al. 2015).

Status of the island resources relating to the renewable energy potential

The national electricity demand that has been projected in terms of the development of the electricity resources with the help of the ESBI model is based on GNP probation that are related with the ESRI Medium Term Economic Forecast 2020. This shows that there is the presence of the reasonable broad based agreement is obtained in the overall presence of the electricity market at the different dates available. It has been analysed that the onshore wind resources was estimated to be the combination of the powerful Irish project of wind resources that has been contained to be having accessible speed and distribution with the state of the art wind turbine designs. There has been the use of the landfill gas in the country in order to generate the heat energy for the population in the island of Ireland. Based on the different regional and country waste plans and the return that has been gained from the plans to the EPA, there is the presence of the accessible organic waste resources which has been projected for the years 2010 and the year 2020. Thus, the estimated plans that have been devised leads to the status of the island resources that are related to the renewable energy potential in the country (Jacobson et al. 2015).

Technical barriers to the deployment of the renewable energy

In terms of the deployment of the renewable energy resources in the island of Ireland, there are certain technical barriers, which are important to be noted before the conduction of any renewable energy plan for the respective locations. Some of the barriers are given as follows:

  • In the island of Ireland, there is the lack of the different resources, which might be helping in development of electricity in terms of the technical information. It has been not that the wind farms are more reliable to be present in comparison to any other sources of electricity making it difficult for any other plan for the development of electricity and heat (Magagna and Uihlein, 2015)
  • There is the presence of the environment concern which includes noise, effect on the local animals and the living beings, electromagnetic interference and the shadows
  • The taxes that are present in the renewable energy technologies are high which reduces the competitiveness in the technologies. There is difficulty in the incentives that are to be gained in terms of the financial ability to develop the support for the renewable energy development in the country.

Objectives, drivers and constraints:

Having an excellent reservoir of renewable energy sources, Ireland proves to a place for excellent renewable energy development plaits across the entire island. The growth in the exponential comments of Ireland’s energy repertoire shall enable the country to mark are revoltionary metamorphosis in the combustion of fuels and witnesses an exemplary alteration in the modes of transportation, electricity and heating. Assuming the role of a consultant of the 11-island energy advisory committee for Ireland and being part of the energy policy project of 2018, the fundamental objectives of the plan has been finalised with scrupulousness and care. The use of clean power sources and making maximum utilisation of solar and bio-energy, an attempt is being made to reduce Ireland’s dependence on imported fuels (Reilly et al.2015). The committee plans to go active and meet up the targets by the year 2035. Some of the generic key objectives and aims of the Energy Policy project of 2018 are stated below:

  • To develop a platform to sustain the enhancement and increase of Ireland’s offshore renewable energy sources
  • To augment the indigenous production of electricity and make it accessible to every household and customer
  • To aspire towards the reduction of greenhouse gases and thereby sustain the ecological balance
  • To improve the security in the committee energy supply chain
  • To alter and modify the areas of transpiration, heating and electricity
  • To enhance employability by introducing energy plants in the prime locations of the island

The target is set at 2035 within which the renewable energy schemes can be fulfilled and accomplished turning the island to be a highly modernised and recyclable one.

Energy Policy Project img1

Fig:1:types of energy consumption

(Source: Reilly et al.2015)

Final energy demand in 2035 :Sectoral breakdown of final energy demand by 2035

The Energy Policy Project demonstrates the government's efforts along with the 11-island advisory committee to deliver a target of reaching out to 30% of renewable energy by the year 2035. The development of renewable energy sources shall be mushroomed at every location of the nation and shall leverage the implementation of improved sections of supplies leading to reduced global gas emissions. In respect to this undertaking, the risks of climate changes and ecological disruptions are obvious deterrents in the process. Therefore, a more secured and safe agenda must be created to utilise the maximum resources to generate power along with minimum wastage and effects of climatic alterations (Mathiesen et al.2015). The target and objectives of the plan is very complacent with the climate and environmental policies of the European Union every pools and is set to meet the target by 2035. Below is the sectoral breakdown of the final energy demand that is set to be met by the year 2035.

  • Electricity: the advisory committee has set a target of 40% of electricity generation by using renewable energy sources by the year 2035. The 2001 European RES-E Directive, Ireland had incremented from a 3.6% RES-E to 13.2% RES-E by the year 2010. Apart from government and the advisory committee giving the efforts, energy regulators, transmission system operators are all in one page to meet the target by 2035. Since Ireland plans to reach higher in the meter measuring scale by reaching a percentage of circa 40% RES-E by the year 2035, the challenges from intermittent powers cannot be ignored. Irish Transmission System Operator, EirGrid and the all-island Single Electricity Market are given due responsibilities in administering the generational process of renewable energy resources (Scarlat et al.2015).
  • Transportation: the transportation facility in Ireland is mostly dependent on imported oil in the sense, the vehicles that play on the roads of the island is run with the help of imported fuels from foreign countries. Therefore, a two-way strategy has been developed by the committee along with the help of the Irish government to increase the use of bio fuels and enhance the number of electric vehicles for transportation (Dai et al. 2016). The national Bio fuel Obligation Scheme 2010 has inspired the fuel suppliers to include bio fuels in their crude oil to support the cause. The committee plans to leverage a percentage of 10% of electrically facilitated vehicles in Ireland and thereby support the establishment of electric vehicle infrastructure and collaborate with vehicle manufacturers.
  • Heating: the expected target of generating renewable heat is 12% by the end of 2035. A set of streamlined activities and functions have been fixated to cushion the efforts of generating renewable heat according to the plan. Geothermal resources and biomass sectors are being given special attention in order to meet the target (Abdmouleh et al. 2015). Hence, a standardised blueprint is being prepared to stimulate the energy sector in Ireland by the year 2035.
  • Bio energy: bio energy has been one of the major contributors towards the Irish renewable energy system. According to the plan , the expected generation of bio energy by using biomass and indigenous sources are initiated. The Renewable Energy Feed-in Tariff scheme for biomass technologies (REFIT 3) approved by the Irish government expects a stable growth in CHP and AD. It is expected to deliver 2,300 gigawatt hours (GWh) annually.
  • Solar energy: solar energy being a new way of generating heat in Ireland has gained immense popularity. The primary objectives of the plan is to generate a yearly 5.90 radiation worth 5706.12 energy value to Irish Households and retail shops.
  • Wind energy: according to the objectives , the wind energy domain is also characterised by few necessities. There is an aim of generating a wind penetration level of 20% by the year 2035. Further small and medium size wind turbines are expected to be developed in the urban and peri-urban areas. The RMS error in wind speed needs to be reduced until it reaches the 8% benchmark.
Energy Policy Project img2

Fig:2:energy generation target

(Source: Dai et al. 2016)

Sectoral constraints

As discussed above the various sector of transportation, electricity and what has been mentioned in order to have an understanding of the requirements of the renewable energy plan. Considering the terms and conditions, few challenges can be identified in the process of development and implementation. The challenges have been stated with reference to the three sectors mentioned above:

  • Challenges imposed by large amounts of intermittent power
  • Lack of a vibrant micro generation sector
  • Too much dependence on imported fuels
  • Geographical and demographic challenges of Ireland
  • Climate changes
  • Emission of global gases

Criterion for the determination of the various sectors using which the allocation of the renewable energy is maintained

Owing to the necessity of developing renewable energy plants in Ireland, the advisory committee has noticed few aspects. The three sectors that have been finalised in regards to the penetration of the renewable energy sources in Ireland. There are few specialised criteria based on which the apportionment of renewable energy percolation is to be finalised. The key areas are:

  • RES-H&C %
  • RES-E%
  • RES-T%
  • Overall RES share
  • Cooperation mechanism
  • Surplus mechanism

Cost to government and consumers

The cost for the project will be extracted from the governmental aid and yearly revenue generated. The approximate cost expected from the government would be a 100 million euros and the yearly revenue is expected to reach an amount of 20 billion Euros.

Policy mechanism selection/ Main actions:

Available renewable energy technologies those are appropriate for the island for development by 2035

Ireland is said to have excellent renewable energy resources, which is supposed to be a growing and critical component concerning the Irish energy supply to 2035 and beyond. However, there are several factors that are required to be taken into account during the evaluation of energy sources, for example, stability of prices, remaining reserves, production shares, geographical distribution, reliability, environmental effects and commercial status. All this factors are considerable for more promising and more appealing for making renewable energy policy. The government energy policy of Ireland influenced the development of the renewable energy technologies. The renewable sources of energy are said to be non-polluting and indigenous, they are able to deal with environmental issues and security of supply concerns as well.

Ireland is said to have meet the targets that are set by the EU on renewable energy, climate change and energy efficiency. In Ireland, there are different sources of renewable energy are available, which includes geothermal, solar, wind, hydro, wave and tidal. In the same context, from the last several years the country consume huge amount of renewable energy from hydroelectricity and is said to have been exploited for a long period of time.

Different goals were set out by the Irish government white paper, where it was entitled Delivering a Sustainable Energy future for Ireland that was published by the Department of Communications, Natural Resources and Marine on the 12th march, 2007. The goals were to deliver a sustainable energy future for Ireland. The paper is said to be primarily driven by the challenge of a secure energy supply along with the prevention of climate change.

The energy action plans towards 2035 are-

Actions for ensuring security of energy supply

Actions for the promotion of the sustainability of energy supply and use

Actions for enhancing the competitiveness of energy supply

The renewable energy technologies are Wind energy, Market status, Biomass, Market status, Solar energy, Geothermal energy, Wave energy, Tidal energy and Hydroelectricity.

Policy mechanisms, proposed approach and estimated costs of achieving the required levels of penetration

Renewable energy policy mechanisms- Until 31st December, 2015, electricity from renewable sources in Ireland was mainly said to be promoted with the help of a feed-in-tariff scheme (REFIT). Though, recently there is no availability of support scheme for the production of electricity from the renewable energy sources. However, a new scheme for supporting the renewable energy sources has been announced in the year 2017, in March. Through a tax return and a grant the renewable energy sources for heating purposes are said to be promoted. A Quota system is said to be used as the incentive in case of using renewable energy in transport.

Access of electricity to the grid from the renewable sources is said to be granted as per the principle of non-discrimination and on the other hand the renewable energy plants are connected under the Group Processing approach (GPA) (Mahlia et al. 2014).

However, recently for access to the grid, there are transitional arrangements made. The operators are said to be obliged in providing an offer to every operator for using a renewable energy plant. The grid operators are said to be obliged for the purpose of developing the grid system. On the other hand, the plant operators do not possess the right to demand any kind of expansion for grid (Mathiesen et al. 2015).

Additionally, there are also said to be a number of transitional provisions that are associated with grid connections that mainly aims at providing facilities for the correlation of grid connection through the new RES support scheme.

Proposed approach- Project approach is said to be the planning for the project that has been proposed in the context of the current project.

Step 1- It is important to identify the purpose of the project

Step 2- It is required to set the goals and objectives of the project along with the scope of the project

Step 3- Third step includes division of roles and responsibilities for the project

Step 4- It is important to determine the ground rules for the entire project

Step 5- The fifth step is the most important one, it includes the budget required for the entire project.

Step 6- The sixth step includes the conceptual design for the new technology.

Estimated costs- In order to complete the project, a huge amount of expense is required for several purposes. The project requires several equipments, which is very expensive. The estimated cost for the entire project is €122 (Twidell and Weir, 2015).

Main actions required

Regional and local renewable bodies have many initiatives and strategy to make better renewable policy for the country. The local renewable bodies are going forward to communicate with the city managers in the renewable energy development for making the effective renewable policy for the country. Further, both the department might conduct various meeting and research for identify the basic needs to renewable energy and its needs within the country (Scarlat et al. 2015). In addition the national renewable energy development group might collect the feedback from local citizen and for basic requirements of renewable energy. Moreover, the National Renewable Energy action plan has been very constructive way to bringing various bodies to enhancement of making the effective renewable energy policy for the country. In order to build an effective renewable policy the stakeholders might take primary responsibility in which the legislation should influence Renewable energy policy. In order to monitored the effectiveness of policy the department of communication of Ireland collect feedback that policy is working with SEAI, Eirgrid and with department of environment or not. In order to maintain the effectiveness of this policy it is important to make arrangement to ensure optimum cross Government co-ordination and regular reporting mechanism will be put in the place (Magagna and Uihlein, 2015).


From the above illustration, it may be concluded that the current report is mainly based on the Energy policy of Ireland. The report mainly aims at developing a plan that will help in increasing the penetration of renewable energy across the islands of Ireland. The main target of Ireland is to have 100% of total final energy that are supplied by renewable energy sources by the year 2035. The report has provided a brief detail on the renewable energy resources of Ireland, which will help in the planning of the project.

Reference list

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Scarlat, N., Dallemand, J.F., Monforti-Ferrario, F., Banja, M. and Motola, V., 2015. Renewable energy policy framework and bioenergy contribution in the European Union–An overview from National Renewable Energy Action Plans and Progress Reports. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, 51, pp.969-985.

Twidell, J. and Weir, T., 2015. Renewable energy resources. Routledge.