Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Renewable Energy Generation
217. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the timeframe for the publication of guidelines pertaining to the supply of energy to the national grid through solar energy and solar farms in County Wicklow; the terms and conditions which prospective suppliers must adhere to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49196/19]
In order to deliver on the ambition set out in the Climate Action Plan, my Department is developing the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS). The RESS has been designed within a competitive auction-based, cost effective framework and the scheme will provide for a renewable electricity (RES-E) ambition of 70% by 2030. The Scheme is subject to state aid approval from the EU Commission.
The Climate Action Plan targets the delivery of indicative volumes of up to 1.5 GW of grid scale solar by 2030. Utility scale solar energy farms will be critical to diversifying the renewable technology mix and to deliver gains through connecting hybrid renewable technologies. The volume of connected solar in 2030 may well exceed this target if prices continue to fall and solar projects are successful in the RESS auctions.
The terms and conditions of the first RESS auction (RESS-1) will set out the process by which all competing technologies including solar farms receive support for supplying energy to the national grid.
My Department held a public stakeholder briefing on 22 November 2019 at which officials presented on the RESS detailed design framework, and the presentation from the briefing session is available on my Department's website. It is expected that the draft RESS 1 terms and conditions will be published in December 2019, subject to Government approval.