BayWa r.e. has been active in Ireland since 2019 and we are proud of the expansion of our local development team in the market. Through investment in our team and development partnerships, we have both solar and wind projects in our immediate and longer term pipelines.
This represents an important contribution to meeting Ireland’s Climate Action Plan 2021 targets that aim to achieve a 51% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 in addition to ‘net-zero’ emissions by 2050. Declan Cullinane, our Market Manager for Ireland, talks about BayWa r.e.’s ambitious plans and reviews the Irish energy market.
What are BayWa r.e.’s targets for solar and wind projects in Ireland in the next couple of years?
We are a recognised global player in many markets around the world and we expect to have the same status in Ireland by being an experienced developer and independent power producer (IPP). With all investments in new markets, there is an incubation period and Ireland is no different. We invested in an experienced development team and signed partnership agreements to enable the growth we desire. We have an active pipeline in excess of 500MW and more in the earlier phases of assessment to complement that. Our objectives are aligned to government targets for renewable generation by 2030, however the energy market is challenging. That aside, we continue to grow our team, pipeline and aspirations.
What does the renewable energy industry in Ireland currently look like?
Ireland is currently at a crucial junction: Even though the opportunities for the renewable industry in Ireland have never been this exciting, there are also an increasing number of challenges that need to be addressed in the short and medium term in respect of enablement of land for development via agri-taxation, planning processes and grid infrastructure. The overall focus needs to be a move towards independence from imported fossil fuels with a blend of both on- and offshore technologies. This is not just essential to meet net-zero emission targets, but also to establish secure supply channels.
What are challenges within the renewable energy market in Ireland?
There are many challenges within the renewable energy market in Ireland as mentioned: The current grid infrastructure does not provide enough capacity to cover additional generation of renewable energy and needs to be expanded in order to enable the developers in the market to invest with surety and security. There are many issues with constraint and curtailment across the market which need to be dealt with along with the ongoing CEP 12&13 implications. Secondly, the planning department have had to deal with staff and expertise shortages which have delayed processing wind/solar project applications. These backlogs within project pipelines are delaying respective planning processes.
Why is there a need for solar and wind energy?
The need to create a supply of renewable energy in Ireland is increasing due to climate change and energy security issues. BayWa r.e. is developing both solar and wind projects to contribute to the Irish government’s 2030 targets of using 80% of renewable energy on Irish networks. In addition to that, the opportunity of long term stable income to landowners provides an alternative income stream in a market that has intensive agricultural focus.
What are the benefits of solar and wind farms?
Both solar and wind farms do not just make a valuable contribution to net-zero emission targets, but also benefit local areas and communities: Our renewable energy farms produce enough clean energy to power several thousand homes each year. Solar farms can also positively impact ecological environments as well as local biodiversity through hedgerow planting, and improved soil condition. Additionally, our projects provide local employment and upskilling opportunities, which have an advantageous effect on local socio-economics.
How does BayWa r.e. guarantee a sustainable supply chain to be able to deliver solar and wind projects?
Being able to provide a sustainable supply chain depends on stability as well as reliability. BayWa r.e. has over 3,000 employees, working in 30 countries across the world. This makes it one of the biggest international providers of decentralised energy solutions. This international experience in combination with outstanding technical expertise makes BayWa r.e. Ireland Ltd. a reliable partner throughout all phases of a project: from planning, to supply chain management, over construction, all the way to maintenance.
Find out more about our wind and solar projects in Ireland and the UK here.