Wind farms provided 21% of the electricity demand in Ireland last month - twice as much as was generated in July of last year.

Wind Energy Ireland said the sector is helping to cushion electricity users here from high fossil fuel prices.

The average wholesale price for electricity in July was €267 per megawatt hour – almost twice as high as the same month last year.

Wind Energy Ireland said there was a significant difference between the windiest days when the price was €256 and the least windy days when it climbed to €295.

It argues that this is saving money for Irish consumers and is also delivering much increased profits for wind developers.

The Commission for the Regulation of Utilities recently predicted wind farms could earn an average of €330 a megawatt hour in the year from next October – six times the price predicted two years ago.

Some wind companies will refund part of this through the public service obligation charge on electricity bills, which will turn negative.