Renewable energy has saved Ireland more than €1bn in fossil fuel imports and reduced carbon emissions by 12 million tonnes in the past five years, according to a report by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).
SEAI CEO Brian Motherway said that wind and other renewables will allow Ireland to gain greater energy independence.
"As the issues of further wind and grid development are discussed across the country, it is important that this debate be based on factual evidence and not myths," Motherway said.
Citing wind energy benefits, Motherway highlighted that Ireland spends €6.5bn a year for importing fossil fuels, resulting in a loss of money from the domestic economy. He further said that some vocal opponents of specific developments are questioning on developing more wind energy in the country.
"Frankly, many arguments have been put forward questioning the case for more wind development in Ireland, which are not fact based," he added.
Increasing use of renewable energy will give Ireland greater control over its energy prices. In addition to this, it also helps attract foreign investment, as more global firms are seeking access to clean energy as part of their location decisions.
Motherway also made it clear that Ireland has a good wind energy resource and can get cheap clean electricity from it, and that making comparisons with other nations about wind effectiveness is not always valid.
However, he emphasised that Ireland has developed wind farms with the support of communities in the last ten years.
"If we are to have an open and balanced debate about energy policy in Ireland, it is time that those who oppose more wind development set out their alternatives," Motherway concluded.
Image: Increasing use of renewable energy will give Ireland greater control over its energy prices. Photo: courtesy of freedigitalphotos.com