Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (403)

Michelle Mulherin

Question:

403. Deputy Michelle Mulherin asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will extend the REFIT scheme to accommodate electricity generators who are disadvantaged by slow grid development; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10034/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Within the REFIT schemes, each project will have a unique and individual file history. Renewable energy projects may be delayed from proceeding for several reasons. Some projects may be delayed as a result of a personal decision by a project developer relating to their particular circumstances; others may be delayed due to a decision by a developer to reconfigure their project, which might require a new planning permission application to be made and requires negotiation, discussion and agreement with the Transmission or Distribution System operator; some projects may be delayed due to uncertainty around aspects of market rules and the effect final rules may have projects; others may be delayed due to difficulty in obtaining finance etc.

I recognise that there are a number of complex factors that are converging for the renewable energy development sector at the present time, which may mean that it has not been possible to develop projects in the timeframe project developers may have originally anticipated. Guidance on renewable energy support schemes from the European Commission is due to be published in the first half of the year. Support schemes and aspects of the existing REFIT schemes are an area currently under consideration in my Department, with a view to providing clarity to developers on all applicable terms and conditions.