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Ireland targets 80% renewables

The Irish government has committed to increasing the share of renewables electricity up to 80% by 2030 and allocating around 15.5GW of wind and solar capacity through an auction scheme.

The Government has launched its National Development Plan (NDP) on 4 October, setting out a record €165B in spending between now and 2030. The Taoiseach called the plan, the “most environmentally-conscious” NDP in the history of the state.

Among the key measures the government has committed to:

  • Invest in grid-scale renewable electricity generation and storage. The Government will continue to support the deployment of generation through the auction-based Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). It is estimated that the RESS will provide €7.2bn to €12.5bn in supports, financed by the Public Service Obligation Levy, over the lifetime of the Scheme which will incentivise private capital investment to deliver on the target to generate up to 80% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. As an integral part of this investment, the government will support community ownership of renewable electricity generation assets through a dedicated 100%-owned community category in each onshore RESS auction.
  • Support micro-generation, through the creation of a Microgeneration Support Scheme. The scheme will include a guaranteed payment for the export of excess electricity to the grid.
  • Strengthen electricity supplies through investment in the electricity transmission and distribution grid and through further interconnection with other electricity markets, including the Celtic Interconnector to France and the interconnection to the UK. Deliver 2GW of conventional electricity generation capacity (mainly gas-fired) to support the operation of the electricity system and provide security of supply for when variable generation (wind/solar) is not sufficient to meet demand.
  • Replenish and electrifying vehicle stocks.
  • Increasing carbon tax to €100-per-tonne by 2030. €5B of the expected €9.5B in additional carbon tax receipts will be invested in energy efficiency measures, including the retrofitting of 500,000 homes to a Building Energy Rating of B2 and the installation of 600,000 heat pumps by 2030

Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan, welcomed the plan which he said would help deliver a “cleaner, greener, connected Ireland”.

GridBeyond’s Managing Director UK & Ireland, Mark Davis, said:

“The long-term objective is to transition to a net-zero carbon, reliable, secure, flexible and resource-efficient energy services at the least possible cost for society by mid-century. This NDP will bring opportunities for citizens and businesses to ensure our economy develops in a climate-friendly and resilient way.

“We are moving in the right direction concerning the decarbonisation of energy generation, but it is important that policy decisions are made sooner rather than later to avoid the more expensive consequences of inaction. Irish government has a real opportunity to demonstrate leadership and make the changes that would allow the grid to better integrate volatile renewables, while limiting the cost impacts on consumers. Tools already exist for businesses to provide flexibility services to the grid, but the right regulatory framework needs to be created to unlock the private investment needed to reach net-zero at the lowest cost to consumers”.

 

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