Energy in Ireland comes in many forms. The energy mix is quite diverse, however gas is still the dominating sector, followed by renewables. There is an increasing focus on developing renewable energy in order to achieve climate goals, and wind energy is currently the largest contributing resource of renewable energy in Ireland. Despite this, Ireland fell short on meeting its 2020 renewable energy targets. Its ability to meet its 2030 climate targets is now being questioned as well. 

Renewable Energy Mix 

The table below highlights the total renewable energy (MW) in Ireland and its breakdown by technology. It shows the country has seen a great increase in renewable energy and also improved its energy security by reducing oil’s share in energy supply and increasing domestic gas production. 


The onshore wind industry has seen a particularly rapid growth, with over 4,300 MW installed capacity in communities across Ireland. Offshore wind hasn’t seen much change in the last decade. However that’s about to change with the second phase of the Arklow Bank Wind Park being consented. The Project is expected to generate 520 MW of electricity upon its completion, which is enough to power 450,000 homes with green energy and create around 80 full-time local employment. 

On the other hand, solar technology has seen a slow increase over the past years. The introduction of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) is set to bring about change on this matter. The Irish Government acknowledges the benefits of solar installations and it set to increase the MW of solar technology as a long-term method of expanding Ireland’s energy mix. 

EU 2030 National Climate Targets 

Ireland has failed to meet its 2020 climate objectives, being the second lowest to meeting the overall RES target of all EU Member States.  

In order to achieve a 55% emissions reduction by 2030, investment in the energy system (including transport) needs to increase over the next decade in Ireland. The Programme from the  Government is committed to an average 7% per annuum reduction in overall greenhouse gas emissions from 2021 to 2030.  

On 23rd Of March 2021, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications officially published The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development (Amendment) Bill 2021, which amends the previous 2020 Climate Bill. This Bill gives a legislative underpinning to Ireland’s climate targets and proposes a detailed framework for achieving a climate neutral economy by 2050.  

The main points featured in the Bill are: 

  • Commitment to achieve the transition to a climate resilient and environmentally-sustainable economy no later than 2050. 
  • Government is required to adopt a series of economy-wide five-year carbon budgets, on a rolling 15-year basis, starting in 2021. 
  • Actions for each sector will be detailed in the Climate Action Plan, updated annually; a National Long Term Climate Action Strategy will be prepared every five years. 
  • Government Ministers will be responsible for achieving the legally-binding targets for their own sectoral area. 
  • Each local authority is required to prepare a Climate Action Plan that needs to align with the local authority Development Plans.
  • Public Bodies will be obliged to perform their functions in a manner consistent with national climate plans and strategies. 


Ireland is making progress towards its net zero emissions target through the implementation of the RESS Scheme and the Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Bill 2021. Onshore wind energy is still the major contributor to the total RES, however the offshore wind and solar technologies are developing, bringing a diversification of energy over the next few decades in Ireland.  

For further information regarding the Irish renewable energy market, download our recently updated Ireland Country Overview. It outlines the full energy mix, including plans and expectations for renewable sources, predictions, auctions and the key market drivers. 

If you would like to talk to our experts in the Irish market, please contact us.