Last year the Republic of Ireland (not to be confused with the island of Ireland or Northern Ireland) generated 24% of its total electricity needs using wind energy.

This performance cements the country's position - together with Portugal, Spain and Denmark - as one of the World's top 4 in wind usage.

Indeed when the final 2015 numbers are in - at some point in next couple of weeks - it is likely that Ireland will be #2 behind only Denmark (42 percent from wind in 2015). 

'So what', you might say.

 

The general point is that Ireland confirms what other jurisdictions have demonstrated and numerous technical studies have shown: wind and solar penetrations of up to 30 or even 40 percent are both technically and economically possible even on electricity networks, such as Ireland's (and Saskatchewan's), which are relatively isolated.

Since Ireland is quite clearly an island - that final point is nicely made!

But the more specific point is that Ireland has an electrical load profile which is very similar to Saskatchewan's. In 2014 the Republic of Ireland generated a total of 25 terawatt hours of electricity versus Saskatchewan's 23 terawatt hours. Nonetheless since 2000 and through a deliberate energy policy decision, Ireland has steadily increased the usage of its economic, world-class wind resource from 1 percent in 2000 to 24 percent today.  

Over the same time period, and notwithstanding a premature start in 2006, Saskatchewan's use of wind energy has stagnated and now sits at 2.6 percent.

 

Source:  The BP Statistical Review of World Energy, the Irish Wind Energy Association, SaskPower Annual Reports
* Sask. 2015 wind data
based on ongoing load growth, no significant wind additions & below average 2015 wind speeds.

 

In short, and as we have previously said, the '22 percent wind by 2030' target, set by SaskPower In December, is eminently achievable. Indeed Ireland is yet another jurisdiction, together with several in the US, which has already surpassed 22 percent.

We should be actively learning from their experience.