Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Questions (561)

John Curran

Question:

561. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the additional resources put in place to implement the renewable electricity support scheme in view of it being three years late; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22119/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The High Level Design of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) was approved by government in July 2018. The RESS will be characterised by a series of renewable electricity auctions, aligned with the ambition set out in Ireland's All of Government Climate Action Plan and final National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP).

The RESS is a significant and ambitious policy measure in providing a route to market for eligible renewable energy projects and contributing to the ambition of 70% of electricity to be generated from renewable electricity sources by 2030. The RESS is now in the detailed design and implementation phase and my Department is progressing the RESS project across a number of key work streams including the EU State Aid approval process; the development of an Enabling Framework for Community Participation; and the design of the first RESS auctions.

A working group and steering group have been established with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities and EirGrid to oversee the implementation of the RESS auctions and harness existing expertise in this area. The RESS is a complex project with several work programmes being managed in parallel. It is expected that the first RESS auction will open for applications by the end of 2019. Engagement with relevant stakeholders including the European Commission’s Directorate General (DG) for Competition, will continue in the coming months.