Wind provided over a third of Ireland's electricity in the first five months of this year, according to Wind Energy Ireland, which contributed to a fall in prices on the wholesale energy market.

Its May Wind Energy report showed that wind energy provided 34% of electricity here in the month - up 9% on May 2021.

It also accounted for 37% of the country's electricity generation in the first five months of the year.

Prices on the wholesale electricity market fell significantly to an average of €143.27 per Megawatt hour (MWh) in the month, the report concludes.

Market analysts believe this was likely a temporary fall due to a combination of an over supply of gas in Britain, lower than expected demand and better renewable energy performance.

"Irish wind farms have delivered enormous amounts of clean energy over the first five months of the year, cutting our carbon emissions and helping to insulate Irish consumers from our dependence on expensive imported gas," Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland said.

"We expect to see new wind farms connected before the end of 2022 and with solar farms connecting to the grid this year for the first time too, the two technologies will increasingly be able to work together to push fossil fuels off the Irish electricity system," he added.

The organisation called for reform of the planning system to ensure that renewable energy projects can be completed without delay.

It believes that delays in the planning system are slowing the rate of connection of new wind farms.

Wind Energy Ireland claims that the average time for a decision is over a year, even though An Bord Pleanála has a statutory timeframe to decide applications from wind energy projects in 18 weeks.