Ireland approves renewable energy support scheme

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Dublin: The Irish Government announced approval towards the end of July for its long-awaited Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) and intends to deliver the first RESS auction sometime in 2019.

Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, announced last month that he had received approval for the new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme which will “incentivise the introduction of sufficient renewable electricity generation to meet national and EU-wide renewable energy and decarbonisation targets out to 2030.” The Scheme will aim to provide renewable electricity ambition of up to 55% by 2030 and RESS auctions will be held at frequent intervals over the lifetime of the scheme.

The first RESS auction is set to take place sometime next year and is designed to deliver “shovel ready” projects, “reducing the gap to 2020 and assisting in the early delivery for our trajectory to 2030.”

“This Scheme will mark a shift from guaranteed fixed prices for renewable generators to a more market-oriented mechanism (auctions) where the cost of support will be determined by competitive bidding between renewable generators,” explained Minister Denis Naughten. “The RESS is a critical step in bringing Ireland to a leadership role in relation to renewable energy, climate action, and energy efficiency. Communities are central to the design of the new Scheme and this will have a transformative impact on renewable energy projects right across the country.”

Part and parcel of the Scheme is the involvement of Community-led measures and support therein, as well as meeting the Government’s stated policy of diversifying the country’s renewable energy portfolio.

“While the auction approach will provide a route to market for multiple technologies, it will do so in a competitive, cost-effective framework,” Minister Naughten added. “The use of certain ‘levers’, such as near-term delivery dates and ‘single technology caps’, will accelerate the broadening of the renewable technology mix, particularly in light of falling costs for a number of renewable technologies.”

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