42% of our electricity in February came from Irish wind farms

16 Mar 2023

Irish wind farms continued their strong performance in February, providing 42 per cent of the country’s electricity, slightly more than in January but down on the record-breaking performance in February 2022. Driven by wind’s strong performance average prices on the wholesale electricity market fell to their lowest point since November 2022.


Wind Energy February 2023 Key Statistics


Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland, said: “Irish wind farms provided nearly half the country’s electricity in the first two months of the year. Every unit of power they produce pushes fossil fuels off the electricity system, helping to cut our carbon emissions and to insulate families and businesses from the worst effects of the energy price crisis.

“We expect to see significant progress this year with new wind farms connecting to the grid, solar projects coming on stream and the first offshore wind projects applying for planning permission.

“But it is Ireland’s planning system that remains the main barrier to the rapid development of renewable energy in this country. Projects are queued up in An Bord Pleanála with very few signs of progress or improvement. We cannot build renewable energy and reinforce our electricity grid with a planning system that is fundamentally broken.  

“The reforms the Government is bringing forward to the planning system can certainly help but the key issue of under-resourcing is going to remain. There simply are not enough people with the right skills in agencies like An Bord Pleanála and the National Parks & Wildlife Service. The sooner this changes, the sooner we can make wind energy Ireland’s number one source of electricity.”

Price fall continues

The average wholesale price of electricity in February was €159.19, down a small amount on prices in January, but still far higher than before the fossil fuel energy crisis. Prices fell even further on days with the most wind power when the average cost of a megawatt-hour of electricity was €139.61, rising to €196.85 on days when we had to rely almost entirely on fossil fuels.

Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland, said: “Irish families, communities and businesses will remain at the mercy of a volatile global energy market exactly as long as we are forced to rely on imported fossil fuels for our power.  

“The quicker we can build wind farms, the faster we can reinforce the electricity grid, the more we can do to help consumers.”

The results of this report are based on EirGrid’s SCADA data compiled by MullanGrid and on market data provided by ElectroRoute.




Note: A megawatt-hour (MWh) is a unit of electricity. A normal Irish household will use approximately 4.6 megawatt-hours of electricity in a single year. A 3 MW turbine producing electricity at maximum capacity for an hour will produce 3 megawatt-hours. A gigawatt-hour (GWh) is 1,000 MWh.