The 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive set Ireland a legally binding target of meeting 16% of our energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020. In order to meet this target, Ireland is committed to meeting 40% of electricity demand, 12% of heating and 10% of transport power from renewable sources, with the transport target also being legally binding.
There are already a number of policies in place to incentivise the increased use of renewable energy. In the electricity sector, the REFIT schemes are the principal policy supports and offer guaranteed tariffs for electricity from wind, hydropower and a number of categories of biomass. The REFIT3 scheme also supports biomass-fuelled high efficiency cogeneration which, in addition to renewable electricity, supports renewable heat. This builds on the increases in renewable heat which were achieved by the Greener Homes Scheme, the Renewable Heat Deployment Programme (ReHeat) and the CHP Deployment Programme. In the transport sector, the penetration of renewable energy will grow mainly with the increased use of sustainable biofuels which is supported by way of the Biofuel Obligation Scheme. There is also a grant scheme in place to support the deployment of electric vehicles.
My Department is currently finalising a bioenergy strategy which will set out the actions, including any additional policies, required to optimise Ireland's bioenergy sector's contribution to the 2020 renewable energy targets.