Energy executives say government’s wind targets are ‘unrealistic’

According to a survey by law firm Mason Hayes & Curran, more than a quarter of energy executives believe the government’s goal of installing 7 GW of offshore wind power by 2030 is “completely unrealistic”. Only 7pc think it is achievable.

The survey was conducted in the run-up to the law firm’s annual energy conference in Dublin.

In the summer, the government increased the country’s target for installed offshore wind capacity from 5 GW to 7 GW. But even before that, industry players had expressed doubts as to whether the 5 GW target could be achieved by 2030.

Mason Hayes & Curran’s survey found that 42 percent of respondents believe the new goal will be “extremely difficult” to achieve. 27 percent of those surveyed consider this to be “completely unrealistic”.

Ireland’s planning laws are one of the main obstacles facing energy companies moving forward with plans for large offshore wind energy projects.

There are a significant number of large offshore wind projects in the pipeline around Ireland which will cost tens of billions of euros to develop.

Industry lobby group Wind Energy Ireland has warned that the 7GW target cannot be met unless the planning system is reformed and the electricity grid strengthened.

Of those surveyed in the Mason Hayes & Curran survey, 39 per cent cited planning risk as the top challenge in delivering offshore wind projects in Ireland, while 31 per cent said infrastructure and its management were the top obstacles.

It also found that 54 percent of respondents think the 75 percent emissions reduction target set for the electricity sector by 2030 is unachievable, while 52 percent believe the government’s target of reducing agricultural emissions by 25 percent by 2030 falls short is.

The incentive to provide additional renewable energy capacity was increased by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which sent energy prices skyrocketing.

“This energy crisis is not about a renewable energy crisis, it is not about shortages in the renewable sector,” junior minister Ossian Smyth said at the conference.

“It’s a fossil fuel crisis. We haven’t decarbonized fast enough,” he said. Energy executives say government’s wind targets are ‘unrealistic’

Fry Electronics Team

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