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Energy Policy

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 12 March 2015

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Ceisteanna (282)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

282. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources the extent to which alternative non-fossil fuel resources continue to be developed in line with the need to meet European Union and international targets; if it is expected to achieve the levels required; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11042/15]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Communications)

The overarching objective of Ireland'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.

Policies and schemes are in place to incentivise the use of renewable energy. The REFIT schemes underpin the development of a range of renewable electricity technologies, including hydro, biomass combustion, biomass combined heat and power, landfill gas and onshore wind. To date wind energy has been the largest driver of growth in renewable electricity. The total amount of renewable generation connected to the grid is 2,500 MW of which approximately 2,200 MW is wind. It is estimated that between 3,500 and 4,500 MW of onshore renewable generation capacity will be required to allow Ireland to meet its 40% renewable electricity target.

Additionally, Part L of the Building Regulations support the uptake of renewable heat. The Draft Bioenergy Plan, which was published last year, recommends the introduction of a Renewable Heat Incentive for larger heat users to change to heating solutions that produce heat from renewable sources. In terms of renewable transport, the Biofuels Obligation Scheme and grant support for the purchase of electric vehicles underpin the deployment of renewable energy in the transport sector.

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