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2013 Banner Year For Northern Ireland Wind Energy Sector

The Northern Ireland Renewables Industry Group (NIRIG) are proclaiming 2013 a banner year at their conference, which began on Thursday. According to the industry group, Northern Ireland experienced its highest levels of wind energy generated ever recorded during 2013, reaching 506 MW on the 17th of December at 6:30pm.

The event was momentous, as it represents the first time that wind energy has contributed more than 500 MW to the energy needs of the country, representing 36% of total electricity needs at that point in time.

“Throughout December wind energy regularly contributed upwards of 40% of Northern Ireland electricity demand,” said Gary Connolly, Outgoing Chairman of NIRIG. “These record-breaking levels were facilitated by an additional 59.8 MW of wind energy being connected to the electricity grid in 2013, bringing our total installed wind farm capacity to 531.4 MW, which equates to 345,410 homes being powered.”

“Our renewable energy target of 40% electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020 will be within sight if we continue to have a healthy and consistent build-out rate for renewables,” Connolly added.

“Last year was also a record-breaking year for renewable energy across the UK and Ireland,” Connolly continued. “In Great Britain in December, a traditionally high demand month, wind power supplied 10% of the total electricity demand for homes, businesses and factories. In the Republic of Ireland, by 7am on 15 December 2013, a staggering 59.99% of electricity demand was being met by wind energy. Indeed throughout the month of December, wind provided, on average, almost 30% of demand in the Irish system.”

Naturally the percentages don’t seem to match up at times, but needs and supply vary at different times of the day, month, and year.


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