Written answers

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Renewable Energy Generation

Photo of John BrassilJohn Brassil (Kerry, Fianna Fail)
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560. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment his plans to provide infrastructure to connect solar energy projects to the electric grid; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52828/19]

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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Electricity supply to the distribution grid is an operational matter for ESB Networks, which is regulated by the Commission for Regulation of Utilities. I have no function in the matter.

The Climate Action Plan sets out how Ireland can reach its 2030 targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and puts Ireland on the right trajectory towards net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

In relation to renewable electricity, the Plan sets a target of increasing the share of electricity generated from renewable sources to 70% by 2030, indicatively comprised as follows:

- at least 3.5 GW of offshore renewable energy

- up to 1.5 GW of grid-scale solar energy

- up to 8.2 GW total of increased onshore wind capacity

The exact level of offshore wind, onshore wind, solar and other renewable technology will be determined by a new system of competitive auctions where the lowest cost technology will be determined.

The Plan includes a number of actions to deliver this target, including regulatory streamlining of renewables and grid development; development of the offshore renewables sector; implementation of the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme; and the development of an enabling framework for micro-generation.

Analysis and modelling to underpin the Plan assessed a range of options to ensure that Ireland meets its 2030 climate and energy ambitions. The Plan identifies the range of technical, regulatory, legislative and economic factors that arise in realising this target. Major capital investment will be needed in new generation capacity, but also in system service infrastructure and electricity transmission and distribution networks.


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