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Renewable Energy Generation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 7 April 2022

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Ceisteanna (214, 215)

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

214. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which wind, wave or solar energy is being developed to meet Ireland’s climate change targets; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19124/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Bernard Durkan

Ceist:

215. Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the current level of investment in wind, wave or solar energy onshore or offshore with a view to moving towards self-sufficiency in the medium term; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19125/22]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Environment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 214 and 215 together.

The Climate Action Plan 2021 includes a suite of actions to realise the full potential of Ireland’s onshore and offshore renewable energy resources including a commitment to the achievement of up to 8GW of installed onshore wind, up to 2.5GW of solar, and 5GW of installed offshore wind capacity by 2030. Additionally, there is a further commitment to develop a longer-term plan to harness the estimated potential of at least 30GW of offshore floating wind power in our Atlantic waters.

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) is one of the major Government policies to help deliver on the ambition in the Climate Action Plan 2021 of up to 80% renewable electricity by 2030. The RESS is an auction-based support scheme which invites grid-scale renewable electricity generation projects to compete to receive a guaranteed price for the electricity they generate for a period of up to 16.5 years. Over 1GW of new wind and solar generation was secured in the first RESS auction in 2020, and projects are expected to reach commercial operation before the end of 2023.

A significant volume of new renewable generation is expected to be secured in the second RESS auction which will take place next month. Alongside this, my Department have been drafting the terms and conditions for offshore wind-specific RESS auctions.  At least three offshore RESS auctions are currently planned for this decade. 

A schedule of future auctions through to 2025 was published in December 2021 so that generators can develop their renewable energy projects with confidence to line up with these regular auctions and deliver the steady supply of projects needed to meet our climate targets.

Question No. 215 answered with Question No. 214.
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