Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Ceisteanna (104, 106, 107)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

104. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which the national grid currently relies and draws on renewable energy as a percentage of total requirement; if he has in mind specific proposals in this regard; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1884/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

106. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the degree to which the national electricity grid currently relies on the various renewable components in respect of electricity generation; the extent to which hydro, solar, biomass and wind on and offshore currently contribute to the requirements of the grid; his plans if any to augment production at all or either levels; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1886/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

107. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which the national electricity grid continues to rely on fossil electricity generated fuels; the degree to which this reliability has fluctuated in recent years to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1887/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 104, 106 and 107 together.

The Programme for Government provides that a reliable supply of safe, secure and clean energy is essential in order to deliver a phase-out of fossil fuels. The Government is committed to the rapid decarbonisation of the energy sector and will take the necessary action to deliver at least 70% renewable electricity by 2030. 

The Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland (SEAI) published their Energy in Ireland report in December 2020, which is available at www.seai.ie.  Table 12 and Table 17 on pages 35 and 50, respectively, of the report show the breakdown of electricity generated by fuel type.  The tables give the shares of both fossil fuel and renewable energy components of electricity generated.  The share of electricity generated by renewables was 37.6% in 2019, up from 33.0% in 2018. Wind was the largest share of renewable electricity at 32% with hydro at 2.8% and other renewables including biomass at 2.7%.    

The Climate Action Plan included a commitment to deliver at least 3.5 GW of offshore wind by 2030, up to 8.2 GW of onshore wind and up to 1.5 GW of solar; the Programme for Government commits to a further increase in offshore wind deployment to 5 GW by 2030.The National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) (Table 6 of the Plan) sets out estimated trajectories by renewable energy technology in order to achieve the overall and sectoral trajectories for renewable energy from 2021 to 2030. 

These technology levels are indicative and for electricity the level of each technology will be driven by technology costs and competitive auctions under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) as well as major private sector funding through Corporate Power Purchase Agreements.The results of the first RESS auction were approved by Government in September 2020, with 82 approved projects made up of  479MW of onshore wind energy projects and 796MW of solar energy projects.

The Government is committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2050 and an annual reduction of 7% in overall greenhouse gas emissions to 2030, including through maximising the amount of renewable energy on the grid. Future advances in system flexibility, storage technologies including batteries and green hydrogen as well as regional and international interconnection will enable very high levels of renewable electricity on our grid.