The government has committed to ensuring that 40 per cent of Ireland’s energy comes from renewable sources by 2020 which will effectively see the doubling of the sector over the next six years. In addition, the inter-governmental agreement of exporting renewable energy to Great Britain has hugely raised the profile of the sector, which has not been without its problems.
Wind energy is already making a significant contribution to Ireland’s electricity generation and is leading the world in how to facilitate significant levels of wind energy onto the electricity grid. Societal acceptance has become an issue over the past year and this will need to be addressed against the backdrop of a doubling of renewable energy, most of which will be from wind. The government are also publishing strategies for both the development of bioenergy and offshore renewable energy, to focus efforts in meeting the 2020 targets.
The 2014 Renewable Energy Summit will bring together the key stakeholders from across the energy sector, and those who interact with the energy sector to discuss how the contribution from renewable energy can be maximised and implemented most effectively. This summit comes at a pivotal time in the debate over export of renewables.
This year’s summit will have a presentation from the Wuppertal Institute’s Vice President Prof Dr Manfred Fischedick. Under Germany’s Energiewende or energy transformation nuclear power will be shut down within 10 years and be replaced with renewable energy capacity. Germany is already leading the way in the amount of wind and solar capacity on its grid. Professor Fischedick will give an overview of the transition and will highlight any lessons for Ireland.
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