As more wind farms are developed and brought online, we’re expecting to see many more records broken, with 2023 being a prime example of this.

Wind farms alone provided on average 35% of the island’s electricity, totalling a record-breaking 13,725 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2023.

This figure represents the largest annual amount of wind power generated by our wind farms to date and it is equivalent to the electricity consumption of more than three million Irish families, surpassing the previous record of 13,699 GWh set in 2020.

As a result, the fossil fuel industry lost out on almost €1bn last year – with an additional €300m saved on carbon credits.

Energy annual report

The figures come from Wind Energy Ireland’s annual report and a new analysis published by energy specialists Baringa entitled Cutting Carbon, Cutting Bills: Analysis of savings in gas consumption delivered by wind farms in 2023.

The Baringa analysis found that without wind energy, Ireland would have had to spend an additional €918m on gas, most of which would have been imported, for power generation in 2023 and an extra €358m on carbon credits to burn that gas.

An additional €279m (£240m) was saved in Northern Ireland.

It also estimated that Irish wind farms saved approximately 4.2 million tonnes of carbon last year, which is roughly equivalent to the amount of carbon produced by 1.9 million cars.

The total amount saved on gas of nearly €1.3bn was down on the €2bn saved in 2022 due to significantly lower wholesale gas prices over the past year.