Ireland¿s onshore wind resource is among the best in Europe, particularly along the western
seaboard. The first wind farm was commissioned in 1992 with an installed capacity of 6.45 MW. Deployment was slow during the 1990s but has accelerated, in particular since 2003. By December 2006, there were 73 wind farms operational in Ireland, with a combined installed capacity of 762 MW (onshore and offshore). Ireland will require an installed wind capacity of approximately 1,195 MW by 2010 and 2,900 MW by 2020 to meet national targets, which presents significant challenges to policy makers and to the wind energy industry in Ireland. This paper assesses the development of wind energy in Ireland since the first wind farm was commissioned. It examines the evolution of wind energy policy during three time periods 1993 ¿ 2000, 2000 ¿ 2005 and the period since 2005. These time periods are each marked by significant policy documents that have played a key role. The paper also critiques the specific measures that were designed and implemented to meet the policy goals. The results have been delays in implementing certain measures. These delays were exacerbated by misalignments between measures relating to market support with those relating to spatial planning and those relating to grid integration. The net effect was low growth to 2000 followed by ambitious targets to 2005. There was an 18 month delay in meeting these targets leading to a concentrated deployment over the period 2004 ¿ 2006. The paper also identifies where effective wind energy policy has been able to deliver solutions by amending individual measures in order to address the misalignments between them. The paper concludes that based on the available evidence the short term 2010 target is achievable. There are additional challenges to be addressed to meet the 2020 target but the recent success has shown that policies that integrate appropriate measures can deliver.