Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Wednesday, 2 October 2019
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Climate Action
Citizen and Community Measures: Discussion
Dr. Paul McGowan:
We learned that large gates do not work for delivering agility and flexibility. We need to be more agile as regulator and the industry needs to be more agile in terms of how it can deliver. We are looking to deliver connections by having frequent batches. Every 12 to 18 months a batch of connections is made available, with a number ring-fenced for community projects. Large-scale generation may require planning permission and we are thinking of relaxing the requirement for community projects. We are learning, and the first of our emerging connections policies, ECPs, ran to quite a few thousand megawatts. The next one is being designed and will run next year and as soon as we have finished designing we will start work on the next one. We will take feedback to learn continually what works. I cannot give a guarantee that we will get the community energy projects absolutely right but we will certainly try to. If we do not get it right we will learn, because another gate will be coming along very soon.