Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (489, 491)

Barry Cowen

Question:

489. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the EU binding targets for renewable energy for Ireland for 2020; the amount by which it is predicted that Ireland will miss the targets; the cost per percentage of missing the targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16052/19]

View answer

Barry Cowen

Question:

491. Deputy Barry Cowen asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the EU binding target for renewable energy for Ireland for 2030; the amount by which Ireland will miss the targets; the cost per percentage of missing the targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16054/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Communications)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 489 and 491 together.

The EU Renewable Energy Directive 2009/28/EC set Ireland a legally binding target of meeting 16% of our energy demand from renewable sources by 2020. Good progress has been made to date, with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) advising that 10.6% of Ireland's overall energy requirements in 2017 were met from renewable sources.

In terms of renewable energy, analysis published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland in November 2017 projected that we will achieve between 12.7% and 13.9% of our 16% renewable energy target by 2020. This is a huge increase since 2005, when renewable energy was at just 3.1%.

The Department is exploring the potential mechanisms and cost of addressing our renewable energy targets within the framework of the Directive. Any requirement for statistical transfer purchases will be undertaken against a background of discussions with the EU Commission and relevant Member States. As any purchases arising would be made over a number of years, the costs to the Exchequer of acquiring statistical transfers to meet any potential shortfall would be spread over a period of time and in any event the cumulative costs would not be known until 2021, the deadline for completion of all purchases.

While contingency planning has commenced in the Department, the focus remains firmly on meeting our 2020 renewable targets and on the implementation of existing and new renewable energy measures.

In securing approval to develop an all of government plan to make Ireland a leader in tackling climate disruption, I made clear that though we had made very substantial progress, we were off target in relation to achieving our renewable energy targets and I said we must step up our ambition in the all of government climate plan.

The intention is to finalise and publish the whole of Government Climate Action 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.