Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Questions (142)

Dara Calleary

Question:

142. Deputy Dara Calleary asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources if he will provide details of grant aid and or subsidies which have been paid to wind farm developments each year since 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42547/13]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The primary support mechanisms for renewables, including wind farms, are the Alternative Energy Requirement schemes and the Renewable Energy Feed-In-Tariff (REFIT) schemes. These schemes were introduced to incentivise the development of renewable electricity generation capacity necessary to allow Ireland to meet its target of meeting 40% of electricity demand from renewable generation by 2020. This target must be achieved in order for Ireland to meet its binding obligation of 16% of total energy demand to be met from renewable sources by 2020. All of the renewable energy support schemes provide subsidies to eligible projects as opposed to grant aid.

The Alternative Energy Requirement (AER) was a series of 6 competitive tender schemes to support new renewable generation that were run to the mid 2000s. AER was subsequently replaced by the feed-in tariff scheme known as REFIT. The AER schemes were all introduced prior to full electricity market liberalisation.

REFIT is based around 15 year Power Purchase Agreements between generators and suppliers which provide developers with the necessary certainty required to finance their projects. Both AER and REFIT are funded from the Public Service Obligation (PSO) levy.

The estimates for how much subsidy is funded by way of the PSO levy for each year since 2003 are published in the annual PSO decision by the Commission for Energy Regulation (CER). While the bulk of subsidies for renewable electricity generation paid under these schemes have been for wind, the CER has initiated a project to generate a report on the annual and cumulative costs to date in relation to AER and REFIT support schemes for each technology supported. The following table presents the costs for both AER and REFIT since 2003 (the 2003 figure for AER is cumulative from the year 2000):

Year

AER

REFIT

€m

€m

2013/14

-8.0

51.1

2012/13

7.1

47.5

2011/12

0.7

35.8

2010/11

13.5

29.7

2009/10

24.3

39.8

2008/9

-58.4

24.4

2008

0.4

2007

-29.9

2006

0.2

2005

12.3

2004

16.1

2003

6.6