Under the programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan 2019, Ireland had adopted a target of a 70% renewable share in electricity production by 2030. This will contribute to meeting the Government target of reducing Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions by 51% by 2030 and meeting the long-term target of climate neutrality by 2050.
Electrifying large parts of our economy, including our heating and transport systems, means building a grid that can handle a high level of renewables which will be critical to our success. The efficient connection of onshore wind, solar and offshore projects will be driven by regular competitive auctions under the renewable electricity support scheme, RESS, as well as enhanced regulatory rules for connecting projects to the grid.
Revised planning guidelines for onshore wind and a new consenting architecture for offshore renewable projects will facilitate a more rapid roll-out of renewables to replace retiring fossil fuel generation. Furthermore, enhanced flexibility and system integration tools as well as new technologies and use of storage technologies and hybrid assets will enable a speedier roll-out of renewables to take the place of fossil plant. EirGrid has this week launched a public consultation on shaping our electricity future. The aim is to make the electricity grid stronger and more flexible so that it can carry much more renewable electricity. EirGrid’s consultation will align with Ireland’s strategy to further reduce electricity emissions which will be set out in this year's revision to the climate action plan.
The climate action plan sets out that the burning of coal at Moneypoint will cease by 2025. That was the existing plan.
The major ramp up in the levels of renewables on our power grid and the move to a highly electrified economy means we also need to ensure security of supply. My Department is carrying out a review of the security of energy supply of Ireland’s electricity and natural gas systems. The review will include a detailed technical analysis and a public consultation. It is planned that the review will be completed by the end of 2021.