I propose to take Questions Nos. 197 and 207 together.
Ireland’s statutory National Transmission System Operator (TSO), EirGrid, has a key role in planning for the development of the electricity transmission system to meet the future needs of society. This involves detailed analysis of electricity demand, electricity supply, electricity storage and interconnection, and locations of electricity demand and supply. A process is currently underway to consider a range of possible ways that energy usage may change in the future, and a series of scenarios are central to an extensive consultation that is being undertaken, covering four scenarios; Steady Evolution, Low Carbon Living, Slow Change, and Consumer Action. Details of this process, termed Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios are available at http://www.eirgridgroup.com/customer-and-industry/energy-future/
In relation to renewable energy, the 2009 EU Renewable Energy Directive sets Ireland a target of meeting 16% of our energy requirements from renewable sources by 2020, and we have committed to achieve this through meeting 40% of electricity demand, 12% of heat and 10% of transport from renewable sources of energy, with the latter target also being legally binding.
The most recent annual data from the SEAI indicates that 30.1% of electricity, 6.9% of heat and 7.2% of transport energy requirements were met from renewable sources at end 2017. Overall, SEAI analysis shows that 10.6% of Ireland’s energy requirements in 2017 were met from renewable sources, and that the projected 2020 outturn is in a potential range of up to 90% of the target.
Government has adopted a range of further policy measures and schemes to further incentivise the use of renewable energy including the new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS), Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH), and increased biofuels obligation and supports for electric vehicles. In addition, ESB Networks has expanded capacity for delivery of grid connection and My Department has strengthened co-ordination with the Commission for Regulation of Utilities, EirGrid and ESB Networks.