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Renewable Energy Generation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 4 November 2021

Thursday, 4 November 2021

Ceisteanna (30, 42)

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

30. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the number of community-led renewable energy projects operational in Ireland; the number of community-led renewable energy projects that are planned but not yet operational in Ireland; the number of community-led renewable energy projects whether operational or planned which are included under the renewable energy support scheme; the number which come under any other State-backed scheme broken down by county in tabular form; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [53508/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Catherine Connolly

Ceist:

42. Deputy Catherine Connolly asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the status of the RESS-2 scheme; and if there are limitations under the scheme on the number or proportion of renewable energy support scheme projects that can be community-led. [53507/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 30 and 42 together.

Community renewable energy projects will make an important contribution to important to delivering up to 80% renewables on the grid by 2030.

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) is the main Government support for achieving the 80% target. In RESS 2, details of which I published last week, there will be additional capacity allocated to the community category. However, under the EU state aid approval granted for RESS the community category cannot exceed 2% of the overall RESS capacity.

Prior to RESS there was only one community-led renewable electricity project in operation - Templederry community wind farm in Tipperary. However, the first RESS auction included a dedicated community category in which seven projects have been selected for support, five of which are collaborations with commercial developers. My aim is to ensure the delivery of some 100 fully community-owned renewable electricity generation projects by 2030.

In order to ensure an adequate pipeline of community renewable electricity projects I have allocated further capital funding in Budget 2022 for the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to stimulate community energy projects. The funding will enable SEAI to deploy a range of capacity-building supports including an information warehouse, trusted intermediary and advisor services and financial grant supports all of which are vitally important to support this nascent sector.

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