Wednesday, 11 May 2022
Ceisteanna - Questions
This week the World Meteorological Organization warned there is a 50-50 chance we will breach 1.5°C at least once in the next five years. The alarm bells cannot ring any louder. The energy transition to renewables is the foundation on which everything will be built. The renewables industry is also ringing the alarm bells. It also states there is a 50-50 chance we will reach our ambitious 2030 renewables target. It points to a number of factors and I want to raise several of these with the Taoiseach. One is the capacity of An Bord Pleanála's marine and climate unit. At present it has eight staff. The industry reckons this is a fraction of what is needed. This unit will be dealing with five or six offshore applications next January, for example. Another element, which picks up on an earlier point, is the cost of renewables. With regard to the renewable electricity support scheme, the RESS 2 auction will be announced on 17 May. There is an indication at this stage that costs will be significantly higher than in the RESS 1 auction. What is the Government doing to address this? The industry points to the need for indexation and commercial rates. Will the Government establish a high-level cross-government committee to engage with the industry and look at the higher cost of renewables?