Document Type

Article

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

Electrical and electronic engineering

Publication Details

Renewable Energy, February 2017

doi:10.1016/j.renene.2016.10.007

This article has been made available under the provision of Gold Open Access.

Abstract

As a member state of the European Union (EU), Ireland has adopted an energy policy which includes promoting wind powered electricity generators as an economically viable, GHG-reducing, alternative to environmentally damaging fossil-fuel driven electrical generators. This longitudinal, inductive in-depth study investigates the outcomes for the government and other stakeholders involved in a wind turbine project investment by a Small-to-Medium-Enterprise (SME) based in rural Ireland. A case study research methodology is used to acquire and analyse quantitative numerical data from multiple sources including electrical power and energy meters, historical electricity bills and company sustainability reports. The study found that the installation of this wind turbine did not contribute significantly to the EU-binding Green-House-Gas (GHG) national emissions targets. The research uncovered weaknesses in the sustainability reporting mechanism. The numbers of kWh energy units thought to have been produced by the wind turbine were overstated and this error went undetected by all of the stakeholders involved in this venture. This exploratory study will be of benefit to all stakeholders, including the national government who are promoting wind energy as a major player in the overall energy policy as they target a reduction of Green-House-Gas emissions.

DOI

10.1016/j.renene.2016.10.007

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