Following the 1999 Green Paper on Sustainable Energy, a Renewable Energy Strategy Group was formed to develop a strategy for the increased contribution of renewable, and in particular, wind energy to Irish electricity generation.
One of the Group’s recommendations was to prepare a digital map of Ireland’s wind energy resource along with information on the electricity transmission and distribution networks.
The first Wind Atlas for Ireland was developed in response to these recommendations. It was completed in 2003 and was distributed to all Local Authorities to help identify areas suitable for wind energy developments.
The Wind Atlas, along with the Attitudes towards Wind Farms in Ireland (pdf, 1964kb) and the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government “Wind Farm Development: Guidelines for Planning Authorities”, provided the framework for the identification of strategic, preferred, open to consideration and no-go areas for wind energy development to be incorporated into Local Authority Development Plans.
In 2013 SEAI commissioned the UK Met Office to remodel the Irish Wind Atlas.