In Ireland we have enough wind energy potential to supply 19 times our own electricity needs.
Like all European countries, by 2020 we’re legally bound to generate a percentage of our electricity from renewables. In our case it’s 40%. Today we’re at 18% and we have far more wind farms than we need waiting to be connected, so we’ll reach our target.
The UK, on the other hand, doesn’t have enough. Its target is 30% and today it’s at just 8% which is well behind schedule and so, it faces a significant energy gap.
This presents a once in a lifetime opportunity for Ireland. We can supply the UK with the energy it needs and in doing so create a new industry and a lucrative export market.
Today, Ireland exports zero energy. By 2020 we can export €2.5bn of wind energy per annum. That’s equal to our dairy exports last year.
To ensure Ireland doesn’t miss this opportunity, Mainstream has created the Energy Bridge project.
The Energy Bridge project will capture wind power generated onshore and offshore in Ireland, transport it under the Irish Sea and connect it to the UK via a grid connection that Mainstream has already secured. The cable for transporting the energy from the wind farms is entirely independent of Ireland’s existing electricity system.
Using underground cables we will connect a number of turbines to create a single wind farm. We then connect several wind farms to a regional collector node, forming a wind park. Our underground cable then carries the electricity to the east coast. There it travels under the seabed and across the Irish Sea. When the electricity reaches the UK it travels to a central point where it will be fed into major load centres and cities for consumption.
And, the export potential does not stop in the UK, there are significant opportunities for this electricity to move beyond the UK into Europe and Scandinavia.