In the climate action plan I have set a target of 70% for renewable electricity by 2030 to make Ireland a leader in responding to climate change. This will build on the progress made in the past ten years, in which the renewable energy sector has undergone a considerable transformation, with the share of renewable electricity generation more than doubling to 30% in 2017. However, we must step up the scale of our plans even further in order to meet our climate ambitions. Analysis and modelling to underpin the plan assessed a range of options to ensure that Ireland meets its 2030 climate and energy ambitions. The plan identifies a range of technical, regulatory, legislative and economic factors that arise. The impact on the cost of electricity, affordability for consumers and business competitiveness of setting higher renewable electricity targets must also be considered. To meet the 70% target, major capital investment will be needed in new generation capacity, system service infrastructure, and electricity transmission and distribution networks. A review of the policy and regulatory framework will be necessary to incentivise electricity storage infrastructure, which will be critical to absorbing higher levels of renewable generation on to the system. Progressing EirGrid's programme, Delivering a Secure, Sustainable Electricity System, known as DS3, and the efficient procurement of low-carbon generation through the single-market capacity auctions, will be critical to delivering the system changes required to meet our 70% target.
In addition, increased interconnection, including to France and further interconnection to the UK, will be required to facilitate the large up-scaling in onshore and offshore wind so that we can balance the grid and ensure security of supply. In parallel, delivering an early and complete phase-out of coal- and peat-fired electricity generation will create space for the entry of new renewable energy assets into the market.
The new renewable electricity support scheme, RESS, is critical to meeting Ireland's contribution to the target and is being designed to achieve that in a cost-competitive way. Private sector funding through corporate contracting will be essential for meeting higher levels of ambition to increase renewable energy supply and deliver on long-term decarbonisation. The RESS will be characterised by a series of renewable electricity auctions, aligned with the ambition set out in the climate action plan and the final national energy and climate plan, NECP, which is due to be submitted to the European Commission by the end of the year.