Renewable Energy in Ireland

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Can you remember what all these mean? Here's a little about each one to help you learn some more!

Solar power:

Many people now put solar panels on the roofs of their houses. These black, rectangular panels absorb the sunlight and store it as energy. This can be used to generate electricity, which is used inside the houses. Ireland may have very cloudy skies, but did you know that we can still create enough solar power to provide an average of 60% of a building's hot water needs?

Wind energy:

Have you ever seen a wind turbine? It is very tall and looks like a huge airplane propellor!

There are 226 wind farms in the republic of Ireland. Wicklow. Here, the wind turns the turbines, which powers a generator to make electricity. This electricity goes into the national grid and is used in our homes. Thanks to the very windy conditions in Ireland, one wind turbine can create enough energy for up to 650 homes!

Hydro energy:

Hydro power is the biggest source of renewable energy in the world! This energy comes from moving water in rivers and lakes. The first hydro power plant to be built in Ireland was at the Poulaphouca resevoir in Co. Dublin. It was created in 1944 by damming the River Liffey to generate electricity. It also supplies water to Dublin city.

In Ireland we are also researching ways of using the tides and waves out at sea to help create more hydro energy. This is also known as ocean energy and is still in development. Did you know that the west coast of Ireland has the highest average wave power in Europe?


Biomass energy comes from waste, wood and energy crops. In Ireland, many farmers are now starting to grow crops like willow trees. When these are harvested the wood is used to make wood-burning pellets for stoves.

People can use these stoves to heat their homes instead of coal or oil, which release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Farmers are also growing energy crops like oilseed rape. This helps to make 'biodiesal', which is a cleaner fuel than regular diesal. This is much healthier for the environment and can be used to run cars, tractors and lots of other transport!