Engineers Ireland’s Annual Conference 2015 takes place from Thursday 14 May to lunchtime Friday 15 May in Killarney’s Malton Hotel. Delegates will attend a plenary session on day one, with a choice of two breakouts on Friday morning. For more details, and to book your place, see EngineersIrelandConference.ie.
[caption id="attachment_19773" align="alignright" width="220"] Ken Boyne, managing director, Wind Prospect Ireland[/caption]
Ireland’s wind energy industry is well positioned to take a controlled step up to the next level, according to Ken Boyne, managing director of Dublin-based Wind Prospect Ireland.
Boyne, who is due to speak at this year’s Engineers Ireland Annual Conference on 14-15 May in Killarney, believes the improvements made over the last three years, and those planned for the next three years, mean that the industry is in a healthy state. “The right projects can now be built if they make commercial sense,” he said. “At the moment, there are no particular obstacles in the way. There are a number of local issues for individual projects, but in a national sense there are no regulatory or market obstacles.
“There have been issues in the past where projects were ready to go but, for one reason or another, could not be built. We have had this stop-start industry for the last decade. For the last two years, and hopefully for the next three years, we’re going to have an ability to build projects if the specifics of each project make sense – and if the project is right for the environment in which it’s being built,” Boyne added.
By 2020, it is expected that 16 per cent of Ireland’s total energy consumption will come from renewable sources. This target will be made up of contributions from renewable energy in electricity and transport and renewable energy for heat and cooling.
Over the last ten years, there has been a huge amount of work done by the wind-energy industry in relation to these targets. Boyne believes that the preparation will enable the wind-energy industry to help other industries that could struggle to meet their own targets. “The 2020 targets can certainly be delivered. The question is: do we have the capacity to go beyond the 2020 targets? Can we help other areas of the economy where the 2020 targets are not going to be achieved?
“If you look at the projects that are being delivered now, you’re talking about projects that were instigated six, seven or even ten years ago. The industry has been gearing up for the 2020 targets for the last ten years to get to the place now where it has a good percentage of the projects constructed and already operational,” he said.
“There are decarbonisation targets for other areas of industry that are struggling. At a national level, is it appropriate for those industries that can over-deliver to help those that are struggling? I think the wind industry is certainly one of the industries that can do that,” added Boyne.