Government launch public consultation on renewable energy support scheme

Details on the development and design of a new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) for Ireland were recently announced by the Department of Communications, Climate Actions and Environment (DCCAE) and opened for public consultation.

While the primary objective of the new RESS is to incentivise the introduction of sufficient renewable generation to deliver national and EU wide renewable energy and decarbonisation targets, there are other energy policy objectives such as: broadening and diversifying the renewable technology mix, enhancing security of energy supply, promoting economic development, and supporting community and citizen participation in the transition to a low carbon economy, that must be met, while simultaneously delivering value for money for the consumer.

The consultation documents set out various policy options (primary and enabling) to support community-led projects and those required to support developer-led community projects. The analysis carried out clearly indicates how Ireland can most cost effectively meet different levels of Renewable Electricity (RES-E) by 2030, while at the same time delivering broader policy objectives in line with the 2015 Energy White Paper and the 2016 Programme for Government commitments.

The development process of the RESS does not include setting a level of ambition for renewable electricity generation. The RESS is being developed as a scheme that can support a range of ambitions. This includes the potential objective of maintaining the target 2020 level of 40% RES-E out to 2030 as the baseline ambition. Further, more ambitious potential objectives of 45%, 50% and 55% are also examined. The emerging scheme design allows the Government to control both the costs and the level of RES-E ambition. It is highly flexible and can respond to market driven outcomes and take advantage of maturing technologies.

The public consultation will remain open until 16.00 on Friday 3rd November 2017, and full details of the RESS public consultation process can be found at: http://www.dccae.gov.ie/en-ie/energy/consultations/Pages/Renewable-Electricity-Support-Scheme-Design-Consultation.aspx

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