Thursday, 17 December 2020
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Alternative Energy Projects
My Department has previously supported biomass for generating power through the Renewable Electricity Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) schemes which have been closed for several years. These have since been replaced by the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS), which is a series of competitive auctions. The results of the first RESS auction were approved by Government in September 2020, which consisted of 479MW of onshore wind energy projects and 796MW of solar energy projects. The RESS design has taken into consideration sustainability criteria and electricity efficiency standards contained in the revised Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001 EU). As such only High Efficiency Combined Heat and Power (HE-CHP) boilers fuelled by biomass are eligible to enter the auctions.
The Government is committed to the rapid decarbonisation of the energy sector and will take the necessary action to deliver at least 70% renewable electricity by 2030.
250. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if he will allow Bord Na Móna to collect and segregate used timber to be used as biomass for power generation as is happening in other jurisdictions. [44374/20]
Decisions regarding the sourcing of biomass are an operational matter for Bord na Móna and not one in which I have any function. It is unclear what is meant by used timber; all biomass would, however, have to meet EU-wide sustainability criteria which have been introduced in the revised Renewable Energy Directive (2018/2001 EU).