Mainstream Renewable Power and wind turbine manufacturer Sinovel Wind Group will build 1 GW of wind energy projects in Ireland by 2016. Mainstream will develop and construct the projects, with Sinovel providing wind turbines.
Sinovel may also consider local supply chain opportunities in Ireland if the Irish Government commits to long-term wind targets. The company’s Senior Vice-President, Mr. Lecheng Li, said, “The first of these projects in Ireland will go into construction later this year and we plan to supply Mainstream with a steady flow of turbines through 2012 and 2013 reaching an average of 250 MW per annum from 2014 onwards. As we gain certainty on project execution schedules we will review our plans for localising operation and maintenance activities as well as possible component manufacturing.”
In a recent development, the British government is considering subsidising the Irish wind energy industry under proposals to be considered in London. Britain believes the west coast and the seas around Ireland can provide it with a large amount of its renewable energy. Irish industry groups say such a move could be worth up to €1.6 billion a year to the Irish economy.
The British government is considering directly subsidising electricity through its feed-in tariff system, which would be a subsidy to private investors operating on Irish territory. It could also operate by a system known as “supplier obligation”, whereby British power companies would be mandated to buy a certain amount of renewable energy from Irish sources. Despite Ireland’s offshore wind potential, there is only one wind farm off Irish coasts.