Wind Energy Ireland has called on the Government to focus on cutting the price of renewable energy and reducing electricity bills for families and businesses.

The industry body revealed at a webinar today that despite having some of the best wind energy resources in Europe, the price of wind energy last year in Ireland's first auction was the highest in the EU.

Energy prices have soared in recent weeks as a result of global international developments like the rapid rise in gas prices.

But at the same time, the Government has recommitted to cutting Ireland's dependence on expensive fossil fuels and instead developing our own, secure, supply of renewable energy.

Wind Energy Ireland has urged the Government to create a high-level cross-government group with a brief to report to the Cabinet within six months with policy recommendations to cut the price of renewable electricity.

Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland, said the country has some of the best wind energy resources in the world and at some of the highest prices.

"It does not have to be this way," the CEO stated.

Mr Cunniffe said the current spike in electricity prices is driven by factors largely beyond our control because we are so dependent on gas imports.

"The more we produce our own renewable energy, the more protected Irish consumers are from an out-of-control fossil fuel market," he stated.

"We can produce electricity from Irish wind farms at half the price we are forced to charge but only with the right policies. It will be the choices made by this Government which will decide whether Irish consumers are paying the lowest, or the highest, possible prices for renewable electricity," he added.

Ireland's onshore wind industry supplied 38% of the country's electricity demand last year and saved 4.5 million tonnes of carbon emissions.

The industry employs just over 5,000 people and supports local authorities across Ireland to the tune of almost €50m in commercial rates every year.