I propose to take Questions Nos. 187 and 188 together.
The Programme for Government provides that a reliable supply of safe, secure and clean energy is essential in order to deliver a phase-out of fossil fuels. The Government is committed to the rapid decarbonisation of the energy sector and will take the necessary action to deliver at least 70% renewable electricity by 2030.
The Climate Action Plan included a commitment to deliver at least 3.5 GW of offshore wind by 2030, up to 8.2 GW of onshore wind and up to 1.5 GW of solar; the Programme for Government commits to a further increase in offshore wind deployment to 5 GW by 2030.The National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) (Table 6 of the Plan) sets out estimated trajectories by renewable energy technology in order to achieve the overall and sectoral trajectories for renewable energy from 2021 to 2030. These technology levels are indicative and for electricity the level of each technology will be driven by technology costs and competitive auctions under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) as well as major private sector funding through Corporate Power Purchase Agreements
There are approximately 25,000 electric vehicles under taxation at this time. The Climate Action Plan set a target of 936,000 electric vehicles to be on the road in Ireland by 2030. The plan also includes a range of actions to support the uptake of electric vehicles. EirGrid’s long-term view of the electricity transmission system is detailed in its Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios 2019 report (published in October 2019) and chapter 6 includes different scenarios for electric vehicles uptake.
The Government is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and an annual reduction of 7% in overall greenhouse gas emissions to 2030, including through maximising the amount of renewable energy on the grid. Future advances in system flexibility, storage technologies including batteries and green hydrogen as well as regional and international interconnection will enable very high levels of renewable electricity on our grid.