I propose to take Questions Nos. 247, 248 and 250 together.
The Energy in Ireland 2018 Report was published by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) in December 2018. Table 11 (Page 34) shows that the share of electricity from renewable energy has increased fourfold between 2005 and 2017 – from 7.2% to 30.1% - an increase of 23 percentage points over 12 years. Table 11 also shows how electricity production from wind energy has increased to the point where it accounted for 84% of the renewable electricity generated in 2017. Electricity generated from biomass accounted for 8% of renewable electricity in 2017. Biomass consists of contributions from solid biomass, landfill gas, the renewable portion of waste and other biogas (including anaerobic digestion). Renewable electricity (or non-fossil fuel) generation accounted for 30.1% of gross electricity consumption in 2017. SEAI does not have any preliminary data for the year 2018 yet.
Wind, hydro and solar photovoltaic (PV) generated electricity in 2017, respectively, accounted for 25.2%, 2.4% and 0.04% of Ireland’s gross electricity consumption. Wave energy technology is still at the Research, Development and Demonstration stage globally. Tidal energy is a little closer to commercialisation.
Details in relation to All-Island electricity system demand and fuel mix are publicly available on the EirGrid website at http://www.eirgridgroup.com/. This includes information on the number, type and generating capacity of plants on the system. EirGrid’s report titled “All-Island Generation Capacity Statement” (Pages 12 and 13) gives details of the fuel mix (2017) from different energy sources for both Ireland and Northern Ireland. Regarding grid stability, EirGrid are progressing plans for further cross border interconnection and initiatives that encourage flexibility such as the DS3 programme that support integration of more intermittent generation sources.
The total amount of renewable generation connected to the grid at November 2018 was 3,938MW, of which wind generation was approximately 3,610MW, hydro was 238MW and biomass was 91MW. Eirgrid estimates that a total of between 3,900MW and 4,300MW of onshore renewable generation capacity will be required to allow Ireland to achieve 40% renewable electricity by 2020.
In regard to projected electricity needed for the next five and ten years, EirGrid have projected a number of scenarios in the publication titled “Tomorrow’s Energy Scenarios 2017 – Planning our Energy Future” (July 2017).