Tuesday, 26 February 2019
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Renewable Energy Projects
471. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to include a pilot scheme for community owned renewable projects in the 2019 renewable electricity support scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9063/19]
Government is firmly committed to the facilitation of community participation in the energy sector, particularly in the realm of electricity generation. It is an important lever in ensuring that citizens and communities across the state can participate and benefit from the energy transition to decarbonise our economy and society.
Following detailed economic analysis and an extensive public consultation, the high level design of the renewable electricity support scheme (RESS) was agreed by Government in July 2018, with community participation embedded in its core. The high level design outlined an indicative auction roadmap which included opportunities for community led projects participating in RESS auctions.
As part of the ongoing RESS detailed design work, which has included further engagement with community energy groups my officials are exploring a variety of options, including a pilot scheme, to facilitate community-led projects within the first auction. Such an endeavour would have obvious positives, including learnings that could then be applied to the emerging community electricity generation sector.
My officials will continue to explore these options as the detailed design of RESS is progressed.
The final design of the scheme will be subject to state aid clearance from the EU Commission.