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Renewable Energy Generation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 27 January 2015

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Ceisteanna (562)

Mick Wallace

Ceist:

562. Deputy Mick Wallace asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources his plans to follow the example set by certain German cities, such as Munich and Frankfurt, which have pledged to move to 100% renewable energy by 2025 and 2050, respectively; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3887/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The overarching objective of the Government's energy policy is to ensure secure, sustainable supplies of competitively priced energy to all consumers. As a State we have ambitious targets for 16% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020 through meeting 40% of electricity demand from renewable sources, with 10% renewables in transport and 12% in heat. In 2013, 7.8% of Ireland’s overall energy requirement was met by renewable energy, equating to 20.9% of electricity demand, 5.7% of heat demand and 2.8% of transport demand.

To date, wind energy has been the largest driver of growth in renewable electricity. The total amount of wind generation connected to the grid is approximately 2,200 MW. It is estimated that a total of between 3,500 MW and 4,000 MW of onshore renewable generation capacity will be required to allow Ireland to meet its 40% renewable electricity target.

With regard to 2030, the October European Council endorsed a binding EU target of at least 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. In addition, an EU target of at least 27% is set for the share of renewable energy consumed in the EU in 2030, and an indicative target at the EU level of at least 27% is set for improving energy efficiency in 2030 compared to projections of future energy consumption.

Ireland intends to make a cost-effective, achievable and fair (in terms of effort sharing among Member States) contribution to these high level EU goals. My Department is overseeing detailed and rigorous energy system and economic modelling to identify the contribution which is appropriate for Ireland taking account of our specific economic circumstances. This analysis will address issues such as the quantum of additional renewable electricity we should seek to achieve by 2030, the technologies that should be supported in this regard, and the level at which any future supports should be set.

Furthermore, my Department participates fully in the whole of Government approach to addressing the challenges of climate change and the transition to a low carbon energy system by 2050. In this regard, my Department is fully engaged with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, and all other relevant departments and agencies, in progressing work to produce a National Low Carbon Transition and Mitigation Plan for the purpose of achieving this transition by 2050.

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