I have recently set out a new ambition for Ireland, of reaching 70% renewable electricity by 2030, and details on how this will be delivered will be contained in the soon to be launched All of Government Climate Action Plan. The Plan will set out the necessary policy measures to help meet our 2030 target and will put Ireland on a clear pathway to meeting our 2050 objectives. This will require both public and private investment, and large societal shifts in technology, attitude and behaviour. It will also involve a shift in which renewable technologies we support and a shift towards a more distributed generation system, including community participation and a focus on the energy ‘prosumer’. The Plan will include a roadmap for how we enable micro generation, with a particular emphasis on self-consumption, as this is where the value of electricity produced by micro generators is of most value, both for the consumer, in terms of reduced electricity costs, and for the grid in terms of reduced fossil fuel imports.
In July 2018, my Department launched a new micro-generation scheme to support domestic customers who install solar photovoltaic panels in their homes. The pilot scheme, which is administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, will be subject to a review in the coming months at which time the costs of installation will be assessed and further opportunities to broaden this scheme to other groups and other technologies will be explored. Potential future phases of support for micro-generation in Ireland may include a tariff, as we align with the ambition of the recast Renewable Energy Directive which recognises the rights, entitlements and obligations of renewable self-consumers.
Last year government approved the High Level Design of the new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) which will provide pathways for communities to participate in and benefit from renewable electricity generation.