Just over a third of Irish electricity was generated by wind last year, new data shows.

In total 34% of power came from wind farms around the country, up four points on a year earlier.

According to an analysis from energy consultants Baringa, this level of wind generation meant Irish consumers did not have to pay €2 billion for gas in 2022.

This is because an additional €1.65 billion would have to have been spent on gas in electricity generating power stations here.

On top of that €340m would have been spent on carbon credits for the gas.

"The best way out of this energy crisis is to accelerate the development of renewable energy, to ensure more of our power is provided here, at home, creating Irish jobs and supporting local communities," said Noel Cunniffe, CEO of Wind Energy Ireland.

"The Government's plan to reform the planning system by putting in place mandatory timelines for decisions needs to be fully supported and we need total political backing, right across the Oireachtas, for EirGrid’s strategy to reinforce the country’s electricity grid."

"We cannot build the wind farms we need without a planning system that is fit for purpose and we cannot get the power to where it is needed without a much stronger electricity grid. Both of these issues must be top priorities for all political parties in 2023."

The Baringa analysis suggests that on days when both gas prices and wind energy volumes were high, the savings made were particularly high.

In total 13,213 gigawatt-hours, equivalent of the electricity consumption of nearly 3m Irish families, was produced by wind last year, up from 11,566 GWh a year earlier.

The record level of wind generation was set in 2020, at 13,696 GWh.

Under Government targets, Ireland is aiming to have 80% of its electricity generated from renewable sources by 2030.

Up to 8 GW of onshore and 5 GW of offshore wind must be connected to the grid by 2030 to achieve it.