Wind generation in Ireland hit a new record for a July month according to Wind Energy Ireland, which published its monthly wind energy report. The amount of electricity generated by wind in July 2023 was up by 51% when compared with July 2022.

The average wholesale price of electricity in Ireland per megawatt-hour during July 2023 was €96.24, down from €117.11 the previous month. Reported by Met Éireann as the wettest July on record in Ireland, the weather in recent weeks meant that, at 32%, the share of demand met by wind energy last month was up by 11% in comparison to July 2022.

Prices on days with the most wind power saw the average cost of a megawatt-hour of electricity decrease by 12% to €93.30 per megawatt hour when compared with the previous month, rising to €111.71 on days when we relied almost entirely on fossil fuels.

A third of the island’s electricity

Irish wind farms provided a third of the island’s electricity over the first seven months of 2023.

Justin Moran, director of external affairs at Wind Energy Ireland, said: “Irish wind farms are helping to protect Irish families and businesses from the worst effects of relying on expensive imported gas. Onshore wind energy, for example, will save more carbon emissions in this decade than any other technology in the Climate Action Plan.

“The faster we can build and connect new onshore wind farms onto the electricity system, the more secure we make Ireland’s energy supply, the more money we put back in people’s pockets and the more we cut our carbon emissions. Momentum is also growing behind Ireland’s offshore wind energy revolution and there is a strong pipeline of offshore wind projects developing in Ireland.

“Every time a wind turbine is generating electricity it is reducing our reliance on imported fossil fuels, helping to push down wholesale electricity prices.

'Affordable as well as clean'

“We know that consumers and businesses are struggling every day with high energy bills and they need their electricity to be affordable as well as clean. The fall in the average price of wholesale electricity in comparison to June 2023 is welcome news. If wholesale electricity prices continue to drop, we hope that we will soon see an impact on consumers bills.

"One other piece of good news from this month is that, on July 29, Irish wind farms met over two thirds of Ireland’s electricity demand for that day and we are seeing that solar energy, for example, is continuing to make a useful contribution over the summer months.

“Ireland has significant renewable energy sources and by growing our renewable energy sector, we can build an Ireland that is energy independent, delivering warmer homes and cleaner air.”

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