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Dr. Joe Jellie

Director, ABO Wind Ireland Ltd

To solve the climate crisis, fossil fuels need to be phased out — fast. Ireland has set ambitious climate goals: 80% of Irish electricity is planned to be renewable by 2030. 

In recent months, the climate crisis has wreaked havoc all over Europe, from devastating floods and catastrophic wildfires to extended heatwaves.  

Beneficiaries from renewable energies 

“People are worried how expensive the energy transition will be, but given the accelerating climate crisis, it’s obvious that the alternative would be much more expensive,” says Dr Joe Jellie, Director of ABO Wind Ireland Ltd.  

Technological advances have made renewables much cheaper in recent years. Furthermore, a renewable energy system is decentralised, so many people profit from a single wind or solar farm. “Renewable projects provide landowners with a steady and predictable income,” explains Dr Jellie. His company contracts regional companies for the construction of wind farm access tracks, turbine foundations and electricity substations. Local communities also benefit from wind farms by way of a Community Benefit Fund, which is dedicated to community projects. 

Technological advances have made
renewables much cheaper in recent years.

Local engagement is essential 

Before a wind farm is commissioned, many hurdles have to be cleared. It usually takes 5 to 10 years until the turbines are connected to the grid. “We have been developing wind farms since 1996, so we have gained a lot of experience from 16 different countries over the years,” says Dr Jellie. 

Founded in Germany, the family-run company opened its Dublin office in 2008, which has a current staff of 12. “We are now a global company with a thousand colleagues and have developed projects with more than five gigawatts. However, our local presence is what makes these projects successful. Getting to know our project partners and building strong relationships is crucial.” ABO Wind Ireland is growing, and the company is seeking new staff — especially engineers, project managers and town planners.  

A new energy system is evolving 

While onshore wind has been the company’s main focus in Ireland, energy storage is becoming more important. In 2021, ABO Wind commissioned its first 50-megawatt battery project in Kells, Northern Ireland and currently has several more battery projects planned on the island of Ireland.  

They are also working on solar and hydrogen projects internationally and could apply this experience in Ireland when the opportunity arises. “It’s an exciting time to be working in renewables with wind, solar, batteries and hydrogen creating a reliable and clean energy supply,” says Dr Jellie.

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