I propose to take Questions Nos. 572 to 574, inclusive, together.
Last week I launched the Climate Action Plan which includes a suite of actions to decarbonise the electricity sector and boost the quantity of renewable generation in order to meet our target of 70% of demand from renewable sources by 2030. The plan also creates a clear pathway to meeting our 2050 objectives and is available on my Department’s website: www.dccae.gov.ie.
In order to deliver on the ambition set out in the Climate Plan, my Department is developing the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). 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 2019. The ultimate auction timetable and volumes to be procured in any given year will be determined by a combination of the analysis carried out as part of the NECP, as well as an assessment of the supply pipeline of eligible projects to ensure competitive outcomes for consumers.
Furthermore, it is my intention that corporate contracting of renewable energy sources (Power Purchase Agreements or PPAs) will provide 15% of the required generation to meet Ireland's 2030 renewable electricity target. Together, the RESS and Corporate PPAs will provide a route to market for the delivery of indicative volumes set out in the Plan of 3.5 GW of offshore renewable generation and up to 1.5 GW of solar and 8.2 GW of onshore wind by 2030.
In Ireland, the electricity generation market is liberalised and open to both state owned and private enterprises to compete in line with the requirements of the EU internal energy market. Similarly, the awarding of support for renewable generation under the RESS will be through a competitive auction based framework where state owned and private enterprises will compete to deliver projects at the lowest cost to consumers. The RESS is subject to EU State Aid approval, with the qualification process for the first auction expected to begin in Q4 2019.