Ireland, which was 12th in last year’s Ernst & Young renewable index, has jumped up into tenth place overall.

The US leads the way, followed by Germany, India, China and Spain on the overall renewables index (see related story).

Ireland climbed even higher in the long-term wind index, rising from 11th last year to eighth place.

“The Commission for Energy Regulation announced that with the enhanced grid connection and modification it would be possible to have 42% of Ireland’s electricity supply from renewable energy,” said Jonathan Johns of Ernst & Young.

He added that draft legislation to create an east-west interconnector would be a positive development.

“Other factors include the introduction of new tariffs for offshore wind and marine energy.

“The new tariff for marine energy devices will prove to be a significant boost to Ireland’s fledgling marine renewables industry and looks to be one of the first feed-in tariffs for marine technologies,” he said.

Under EU obligations, by 2020 Ireland will have to generate 16% of its total energy from renewables.

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