42% of Ireland’s energy needs met by wind power

We all know that there is a drive to obtain more of our energy requirement from renewable sources; however, we live in a notoriously unpredictable climate and it can sometimes be hard to see how these sources can possibly deliver enough power.

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Getting the wind up

Enough power can be delivered, however, as events on 7 January last year showed. On this date electricity generated from wind power alone was enough to provide power to 42% of Northern Irish homes – a significant achievement.

Obviously peak events such as this do not give the full picture; even so, last year almost 20% of Northern Ireland’s energy needs came from renewable sources, with over 18% of the total delivered by wind. This shows that the province is well on track to reach the Executive’s target of 40% energy delivery from renewable sources by 2020.

Renewables at home

Wind power is not the only alternative energy source, of course, with plenty of alternatives. Wind power installations tend to be quite large and may be a less practical choice for domestic or small business use than other sources of renewable energy, such as solar, biomass or heat pumps.

Many homeowners opt for photovoltaic (PV) solar panels from suppliers such as http://www.solarpanelni.com/. These are relatively easy to install, are unobtrusive, and enable you to generate your own power and benefit from feed-in tariff payments for surplus power you do not use that goes back into the grid.

You might think that solar panels in Northern Ireland would not be especially effective, given the prevailing weather; in fact, they can generate electricity even on cloudy days. You do not need bright sunshine for them to work, which means they can be installed just about anywhere.

The renewables industry in Northern Ireland has made great strides in recent years and this is set to continue. Local councils have taken over the granting of permission for wind farms in a recent streamlining of policy, which should make the process of getting them built easier for future developers. This is good news for the industry, of course, as it will bring jobs and new investment to the region, which in turn will have a positive impact on Northern Ireland as a whole.

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