Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Questions (197, 207)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

197. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment when it is expected that wind, hydro or solar alternative energy production methods are likely to reach the required level to ensure grid reliability; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41497/18]

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Bernard Durkan

Question:

207. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the degree to which his Department has evaluated the potential for alternative generating capacity to meet in full or as near as possible thereto to meet the requirements of the grid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41507/18]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 197 and 207 together.

Ireland’s statutory National Transmission System Operator (TSO), EirGrid, has a key role in planning for the development of the electricity transmission system to meet the future needs of society. This involves detailed analysis of electricity demand, electricity supply, electricity storage and interconnection, and locations of electricity demand and supply. A process is currently underway to consider a range of possible ways that energy usage may change in the future, and a series of scenarios are central to an extensive consultation that is being undertaken, covering four scenarios; Steady Evolution, Low Carbon Living, Slow Change, and Consumer Action. Details of this process, termed Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios are available at  http://www.eirgridgroup.com/customer-and-industry/energy-future/

In relation to renewable energy, the 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive sets Ireland a target of meeting 16% of our energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020, and we have committed to achieve this through meeting 40% of electricity demand, 12% of heat and 10% of transport from renewable sources of energy, with the latter target also being legally binding.

The most recent annual data from the SEAI indicates that 30.1% of electricity, 6.9% of heat and 7.2% of transport energy requirements were met from renewable sources at end 2017. Overall, SEAI analysis shows that 10.6% of Ireland’s energy requirements in 2017 were met from renewable sources, and that the projected 2020 outturn is in a potential range of up to 90% of the target.

Government has adopted a range of further policy measures and schemes to further incentivise the use of renewable energy including the new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS), Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH), and increased biofuels obligation and supports for electric vehicles. In addition, ESB Networks has expanded capacity for delivery of grid connection and My Department has strengthened co-ordination with  the Commission for Regulation of Utilities,  EirGrid and ESB Networks.

Questions Nos. 198 and 199 answered with Question No. 196.