Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Questions (423)

David Cullinane


423. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the estimated cost of construction of an offshore wind farm. [38628/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

I am unable to provide an estimated cost of construction of an offshore wind farm as this is a commercial matter for project developers.

The Climate Action Plan sets out the necessary policy measures to help meet our 2030 targets, cut our reliance on fossil fuels and put Ireland on a clear pathway to meeting our 2050 objectives. It includes a suite of actions to decarbonise the electricity sector and boost the quantity of renewable generation in order to meet our target of 70% of demand from renewable sources by 2030. The cost of offshore wind has been falling globally driven by technological advances and competitive auction pressures. The Climate Action Plan commits to connecting at least 3.5GW of Offshore Wind by 2030. The Plan is available on my Department’s website: www.dccae.gov.ie

To realise Ireland’s ambition for large-scale development of offshore wind, significant progress is required on the following:

· The Development management process;

· a route to market;

· a supporting electricity grid model.

The Marine Planning and Development Management (MPDM) Bill, currently under development, will allow the State to regulate offshore energy projects beyond the foreshore.. The Bill is due for publication by the end of this year.

The inclusion of specific support for offshore wind in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) design will be transformative and, in the long run, will deliver the scale of renewables required to decarbonise our electricity system.

My Department has also established a Working Group on the Framework for Offshore Electricity Grid. It will assess the options available for a suitable offshore grid model for Ireland informed by and aligned to Government Policy.