In this study, Baringa has analysed the financial impact for end consumers of the deployment of wind generation in Ireland over the period 2000-2020. We have used our advanced in-house models of the Irish electricity market to calculate how the costs and benefits for end consumers would have differed if no wind farms had been built. We have also calculated the impact of wind farms on carbon emissions and fossil fuel consumption.

Key findings – what have we learned?

  • Our analysis indicates that the deployment of 4.1 GW of wind generation capacity in Ireland between 2000 and 2020 will result in a total net cost to consumers, over 20 years, of €0.1bn (€63 million to be exact), which equates to a cost of less than €1 per person per year.
  • This total net cost is significantly lower than the gross cost of €3.3bn. This is due to wind-driven
    reductions in wholesale power prices, savings on capacity payments, and avoidance of EU noncompliance costs. These savings amount to a total of €3.2bn, which almost entirely offsets the additional cost of wind.

Aside from the financial costs and benefits, we calculate that the deployment of wind generation in Ireland avoids:

  • 33 million tonnes of power sector CO2 emissions. The total carbon emissions from electricity generation in 2017 was 11.7 Mt, so a saving of 33 Mt is equivalent to almost 3 years of total carbon emissions in the electricity sector today.
  • 137 TWh of fossil fuel consumption at a saving of €2.7bn. In comparison, Ireland consumed 44 TWh (3814 ktoe) of fossil fuels for electricity generation in 2017, so a saving of 137 TWh is equivalent to 3 years of current fossil fuel consumption for electricity generation.

Mark Turner presented the findings of 'Wind for a Euro' at the IWEA Autumn Conference 2018.

In The Wind Dividend we quantified the equivalent net costs and benefits unlocked to end consumers in Northern Ireland by wind power. Read more on the results of our study here.

For more information on the contents of the report or how Baringa can help your organisation, please contact Mark Turner and Alec Granville-Willett.

Read full report

Wind for a Euro (Cost-Benefit Analysis of Wind Energy in Ireland 2000-2020)


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