Irish wind output lows of 2016


As 2016 begins to fade into the memory the media will be full of lists of the “highs and lows” from the year.  Each year our blog report of the Irish wind farm output lows for the previous year (see 2014, 2015) is one of the most read posts on our blog, so here are the lows for 2016 (ROI).

As with last year our more traditional media only seem capable of reporting on wind output highs – no doubt the data is churned out of the Irish Wind Energy Association (IWEA) PR department, see for example New records set for wind energy generation across Ireland during Christmas 2016, and subsequent copy and paste articles on Irish Times and NewsTalk.

In order to provide a little balance set out below is a table of the lowest wind output recorded, for the Republic of Ireland, in each of the last twelve months.  The lowest recorded being sustained periods with no output at all in February, May and October and the annual record low falling on 16 May 2016 when wind output was at a sustained recorded level of -3MW (all figures were sourced from EirGrid information webpage).

Month Recorded Output Low Date & Time
January 29 19/01/2016 04:15
February 0 11/02/2016 14:00
March 12 22/03/2016 04:15
April 4 19/04/2016 05:15
May -3 16/05/2016 09:00
June 4 08/06/2016 08:15
July 8 22/07/2016 21:15
August 3 14/08/2016 10:15
September 17 19/09/2016 19:00
October -2 20/10/2016 17:15
November 7 02/11/2016 16:00
December 39 14/12/2016 17:30

For some context for readers in relation to the output figures, according to IWEA the island of Ireland has 249 wind farms (215 in ROI) with an installed capacity of 3,301MW (2,659.116MW in ROI).   Demand on the island of Ireland fluctuates between 2,600MW – 6,100MW but reached a high of 6,878MW in December 2010.  It is clear therefore that wind energy outputs of between 0MW – 39MW (ROI) represent a very poor return for the Republic’s 2,659MW installed capacity.

So, the next time you see a pro-wind advert (remember that unlawfully broadcast JFK Power to Power Ourselves advertisement) or read an IWEA inspired “record Irish wind output” story check back to this page and visit EirGrid’s information page to confirm that despite the spin, the energy produced by wind turbines is unpredictable, intermittent and totally dependent on the backup of conventional fossil fuelled power plants such as those fuelled by gas, oil, coal or peat.


About cawtdonegal

Concerned About Wind Turbines (CAWT) - Donegal View all posts by cawtdonegal

3 responses to “Irish wind output lows of 2016

  • Neil van Dokkum

    Reblogged this on The Law is my Oyster and commented:
    All the best CAWT for 2017 – keep up the good work!

  • Corc Glas

    One recalls that during the Celtic Tiger years, the well paid banking industry talking heads consistently spun a compelling vision of a ‘soft landing’. The objective counter analysis by a prescient academic was denigrated as ‘talking the economy down’ by no less an eminence than the Taoiseach of the day.
    There is an eerie parallel with the accusation of ‘climate change denial’ that is so vociferously rolled out against columns such as this by the current crop of wind farm cheerleaders.
    The banking collapse left the Irish taxpayer with a massive debt that struggling young couples will be repaying for decades whilst those responsible emerged unscathed. The inevitable renewable energy collapse when the ‘beliefs’ of green ideology meets the unforgiving reality of engineering will simply serve to double the national burden.
    We could of course take the first step of adding no more unessential electrical load. The IWEA have forecast that 2000MW of additional load above the current maximum of 6000MW will be added by data centres alone; an increase of 30% for facilities that would be better located in Nordic countries where there is sufficient snow and ice to keep all those banks of servers cool.
    Sadly, there appears to be no candidate with the intelligence and vision of a modern T.K. Whitaker to save us from our folly. Are we fated in our current governance by mediocrity to repeat the mistakes not only of the past, but of the present as well?

  • Margaret Mulligan

    the investors don’t really give a toss as they get paid anyway…we are the ones who lose as we have to pay regardless

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