Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Questions (247)

Bernard Durkan

Question:

247. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which natural energy resources continue to be developed and made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14525/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

Decarbonising our electricity supply is a crucial part of reducing our overall emissions. We are stepping up our ambition on renewable energy - by 2030, I have committed to 70% of our electricity being generated from renewable sources.

The renewable energy sector has undergone a considerable transformation over the last 10 years, with the share of renewable electricity generation more than doubling to 30.1% in 2017. However, we must step up the scale of our ambition even further in order to meet our climate ambitions.

In order to meet the 70% RES-E target, major capital investment will be needed in new generation capacity, system service infrastructure and electricity transmission and distribution networks. A review will also be needed to the policy and regulatory framework to incentivise electricity storage, which will be critical to absorbing high levels of renewable generation on to the system. In addition, increased interconnection will be required to facilitate the large upscaling in onshore and offshore wind required so that we can balance the grid and ensure supply security.

In renewable transport, the 2018 policy statement on the Biofuel Obligation Scheme set out an increase in the obligation to 10% from 1 January 2019; this will increase further to 11% from 1 January 2020.

I am currently developing an all of government Climate Action Plan, to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change, with actions across all areas such as heat, electricity, transport and agriculture according to strict timelines. The intention is to finalise and publish the all of government climate plan within the next few weeks and this in turn will feed into the National Energy and Climate Plan process, which is due to be finalised and submitted to the Commission in December. The all of government climate plan will provide the basis for amending the draft NECP for submission before year end.

Question No. 248 answered with Question No. 241.