Is onshore wind power reliable?

Onshore wind is a highly reliable energy source. Modern onshore wind turbines are so powerful and have such advanced engineering that they can generate clean energy, even when wind speeds seem low.


Is wind power reliable? Do consumers risk power outages if the wind stops blowing?

Onshore wind turbines in Ireland generate power about 80 percent of the time. But there is no risk of power outages if the wind is not blowing because the national grid balances supply and demand from multiple energy sources. 

Advantages of wind

Wind is a free and unlimited source of clean energy that has a vital role to play in the global shift to green energy.

It can be a variable source of energy. Turbines can only produce electricity when the wind is blowing. However, modern wind turbines are highly efficient and engineered to generate power even at low wind speeds. As wind speeds get stronger, turbines generate more electricity.

Our onshore wind farms across Ireland, North America, the UK, and the rest of Europe provide green energy to thousands of homes, while also creating jobs and economic benefits in the local communities where they’re located.

Ørsted owns and operates 19 wind farms across Ireland providing 327MW to the national grid.

Onshore wind farm

What if there is no wind?

Wind speeds vary, and with them the amount of power wind turbines can produce. That’s why energy grids are supplied by a mixture of different sources – so that there’s always something producing power.

At Ørsted, we want to create a world that runs entirely on green energy. While we’re confident that onshore wind will play a significant role, the future green energy system will be based on a multitude of sources.

Onshore wind will be complemented by other energy sources like offshore wind, solar power, hydroelectric generation, sustainable biomass, as well as geothermal heat or even wave or tidal energy, to form a diversified mix of renewable energy. Conventional energy sources will also help balance the grid and ensure that the lights always stay on.

Based on selected Ørsted onshore wind farms in Ireland from 2019-2022
Based on elected Ørsted onshore wind farms in Ireland from 2019-2022

Why wind power in Ireland?

Ireland, along with other European Union member states, is committed to a 55% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. 1

In order to reach that goal, Ireland will need to significantly invest in new forms of renewable energy. The government recognises onshore wind as a key pillar of the country's renewable energy production and have set a specific goal for onshore wind: to prod 8 GW of onshore wind energy by 2030. That will require almost doubling the country’s current wind energy production.

Do onshore wind turbines pose a threat to birds?
Well-sited wind farms have limited effects on birds. Onshore wind farms can pose potential risks to birds, but Ørsted does in-depth environmental assessments before building any new wind farms and uses cutting-edge technology to better understand the interaction between birds and turbines so that wind farms can be optimally sited. 
Can wind turbines be recycled?
When wind turbines eventually reach the end of their lifespan after at least 25 years, we recycle up to 95% of what they’re made of. We’ve made a commitment to find the right recycling solutions for the final 5%, too. 
What is the carbon footprint of onshore wind?
Manufacturing and constructing onshore wind turbines does produce some emissions. But these are very small in comparison to emissions from fossil fuels – and vastly outweighed by the emissions saved by using onshore wind power instead of fossil fuels.  
Are onshore wind turbines noisy? 
Nearly everything with moving parts makes noise, and wind turbines are no exception. Wind farms are very quiet compared to other industrial facilities, but they do produce low-level noise.  
Are onshore wind turbines dangerous to human health?
Onshore wind turbines do not cause negative health effects. Dozens of independent, peer-reviewed studies conducted around the world have consistently found no evidence that onshore wind farms cause any negative physical health effects.  
Do onshore wind farms harm tourism?  
Onshore wind has become a major source of renewable energy across Europe over the last several decades. There is no evidence that the many onshore wind turbines now dotting rural landscapes put off tourists. On the contrary, many visitors express a positive feeling towards seeing the green transition in action.  
What is offshore wind power?

What is onshore wind power?

Onshore wind power explained