Ireland - Country Commercial Guide
Energy - Renewables
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Ireland has made significant advances over the past decade to transition its electricity sector to low-carbon, renewable energy.  Because Ireland imports approximately 90% of its primary energy requirements, renewable energy has attracted substantial attention across the commercial and political spectrum.  At present, some 4,786 MW of renewable generation have executed connection-offer contracts with EirGrid, (Ireland’s National Grid), and ESB Networks under the grid connection program.  Onshore wind is the principal renewable technology at present with Wind Energy Ireland reporting over 300 wind farms in operation.  Ireland’s grid currently operates with 65% of renewable power. This is forecast to increase in the coming decade as Ireland endeavors to meet its new renewable target of 80% by 2030.  The EirGrid (2020-2025) strategy is shaped by climate change and the transition of the electricity sector to low-carbon, renewable energy.

Irish energy policy is currently framed by the 2023 Ireland Climate Action Plan.  This plan outlines government plans to achieve its stated goals of an average 7% per annum reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions between 2021 and 2030 (equating to a 51% reduction over the decade) alongside attaining net zero emissions by 2050.  It includes the intention to: (1) deliver an ‘early and complete’ phase-out of coal- and peat-fired electricity generation; (2) increase electricity generated from renewable sources to 80% by 2030, (encompassing 5GW of offshore renewable energy, 8GW of grid-scale solar energy and 9GW onshore wind capacity); and (3) have 15% of electricity demand by renewable sources contracted under ‘Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs).

Leading Sub-Sectors

Onshore/Offshore Wind

To date, onshore wind is the leading renewable technology deployed with Wind Energy Ireland reporting over 300 wind farms in operation and accounting for about 4,786 MW of renewable generation.  Under Ireland’s Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) program, 19 onshore wind projects corresponding to 1,469 GWh of wind power generation secured RESS-1 approval in 2020.  The June 2022 RESS-2 program listed 12 projects to deliver 414 MW of onshore wind.  In October 2023, the RESS-3 program only awarded two (2) onshore wind projects to deliver 148 MW.  Large energy end-users particularly in the energy-intensive datacenter sector are increasingly signing Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPAs) with onshore wind farms.  To date, hyperscale segment operators AWS, Google, Meta, and Microsoft have finalized CPPAs locally.  

Ireland currently has one operational offshore wind project - the 25.2-MW Arklow Bank Wind Park Phase 1, which is owned and operated by GE Energy.  The project was co-developed in 2004 by Airtricity (now SSE Renewables) and GE Energy as a demonstrator project and remains the first and only operational offshore wind farm in Ireland.  SSE Renewables has plans for a second phase of development at Arklow Bank involving a 520-MW offshore wind farm.  Ireland is fast-tracking the development of its offshore wind sector in line with its 2023 Climate Action Plan.  Several offshore wind projects with national ‘Relevant Projects’ status are progressing through the planning approvals process.

Energy Storage

Activity around energy storage projects has increased significantly in recent years.  There are six battery projects (156MW) connected to the electricity grid on the island of Ireland.  The nascent solar power generation (261MW capacity) also experienced activity with the entry of several Nordic players providing impetus to a sector that hopes to install 1.5GW by 2030.  The €3mn AdD HyStor hybrid flywheel energy project is moving to the commercial development trial.  Led by Irish company Schwungrad Energie, it is being developed in association with German companies Adaptive Balancing Power and Freqcon as well as the University of Sheffield (UK).  The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) program saw 63 solar projects corresponding to 767 GWh of solar energy secure RESS-1 program approval in 2020.   The RESS-2 program, awarded in June 2022, listed 46 solar projects equating to 1,534 MW approved for delivery.  In October 2023, the latest program (RESS-3) granted approval to 20 solar projects corresponding to 497 MW.

Green Hydrogen

Ireland is the early stages of developing its green hydrogen sector in line with the EU Green Hydrogen strategy within the EU’s Green Deal program.  The National Hydrogen Strategy, published in July 2023, focuses on the deployment of the country’s natural resources in the production of green energy.  It outlines the role for Ireland’s significant wind resources to accentuate the capability for renewable hydrogen to achieve GOI goals of a zero-carbon, secure energy system by stating a 2GW target to produce renewable hydrogen sourced from offshore wind by 2030. 

ESB has announced a green hydrogen project as part of the Green Atlantic program at its Moneypoint Renewable Hub in Clare.  Bord Gáis Energy has joined ESB and dCarbonX in the Kestrel Project which is focused on the re-development of the decommissioned gas reservoirs at the Kinsale Head gas field in Cork for large-scale green hydrogen energy storage.  Finally, EI-H2 is planning a 50MW electrolysis green hydrogen plant at Aghada in Cork.


There is a pipeline of 56 battery projects, equating to 2,290MW of battery storage, in varying stages of planning or development in Ireland.  Offshore wind projects will emerge as a major driver over the next decade with ‘floating wind’ plans along Ireland’s western coast offering attractive business opportunities.   Wind Energy Ireland has published a comprehensive analysis of Ireland’s potential offshore wind energy supply chain that highlights measures needed to underpin the sector’s planned development.   There have also been studies of Ireland’s port infrastructure regarding suitability to facilitate offshore renewable energy activity.  The rapid evolution of Ireland’s green hydrogen sector should also offer market potential.

Future opportunities will be driven by the 2023 Climate Action Plan as the government implements proposals to achieve its stated goals of an average 7% per annum reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions between 2021 and 2030 (equating to a 51% reduction over the decade) and to attaining net zero emissions by 2050.


Department of Environment, Climate & Communications (DECC)

Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU):

Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI):

Wind Energy Ireland:


ESB Networks:

Gas Networks Ireland:

MaREI, the SFI Research Centre for Energy, Climate and Marine:

Energy Storage Ireland:

Irish Solar Energy Association:

Irish Academy of Engineering:

Public Procurement Portal (eTenders):


For more information about Ireland’s Renewables sector, please contact:

Padraig O’Connor

Commercial Advisor – Renewables Sector

U.S. Commercial Service Ireland

Tel: +353.87.2314726

Email: Padraig.O’