Written answers

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment

Renewable Energy Generation

Photo of Brian StanleyBrian Stanley (Laois-Offaly, Sinn Fein)
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85. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of electricity generated from renewable sources in each year since 2012 to date in 2022 as a proportion of overall demand. [31784/22]

Photo of Brian StanleyBrian Stanley (Laois-Offaly, Sinn Fein)
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86. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the amount of electricity from on demand renewable energy sources in each year from 2012 to date in 2022. [31785/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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I propose to take Questions Nos. 85 and 86 together. 85 and 86 together.

The below tables shows the actual share of gross electricity consumption from renewable sources from 2012 to 2020 including estimates for 2021 and 2022 year to date as calculated by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI).  Gross electricity consumption is defined as electricity generation plus net imports across the interconnectors. the SEIA data for 2021  is provisional and will be finalised later this year while the 2022 figures are based on monthly data provided by Eirgrid from January to April and does not include renewable electricity generation for autoproducers.

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 Jan to Apr
Renewables % of Gross Electricity 19.1% 20.2% 22.9% 27.3% 25.5% 29.6% 33.1% 37.6% 42.1% 35% 42%

In calculating the contribution of hydro and wind energy for the purpose of the target for renewable energy under the Renewable Energy Directive, the effects of climatic variation are smoothed through use of normalisation rules. This includes the natural variation in wind speeds and rainfall from year to year and also adjustments for the effect of large increases in installed capacity midway through a year. The below sets out the normalised share of gross electricity consumption from renewable sources from 2012 to 2020. 

2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
Renewables % of Gross Electricity normalised 19.8% 21.0% 23.3% 25.7% 27.1% 30.3% 33.3% 36.5% 39.1%

Further information from SEAI can be found at the following links:

www.seai.ie/publications/Energy-in-Ireland-2021_Final.pdf.

www.seai.ie/data-and-insights/seai-statistics/key-publications/national-energy-balance/.

www.seai.ie/data-and-insights/seai-statistics/monthly-energy-data/electricity/.

Photo of Brian StanleyBrian Stanley (Laois-Offaly, Sinn Fein)
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87. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the policies his Department are considering to support the development of biomethane in the State. [31786/22]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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Ireland's Climate Action Plan 2021 (CAP 21) commits to the production of 1.6 TWh by 2030 of indigenously produced biomethane using waste materials and agricultural based feedstock, and the National Energy Security Framework (NESF), published in April 2022, highlights that alternatives to natural gas, such as biomethane, provide additional diversification for Ireland’s energy mix. The NESF sets out that the introduction of supports for biomethane, as a replacement for natural gas in the context of the changed outlook for natural gas supply and prices, will be appraised by Q3 2022.  Under CAP 21, a public consultation the potential introduction of a renewable energy obligation in the heat sector was carried out in Q4 2021 and my Department is working through the responses, various technical queries arising as a result of the consultation and relevant findings of the recently published National Heat Study. The National Heat Study, which was prepared at my Department’s request, contains detailed analysis which is being used to facilitate the development of options, policies and measures to decarbonise the heating and cooling sectors to 2050.

I expect to be in a position to bring a recommendation to Government in the coming months in relation to the introduction of a renewable energy obligation in the heat sector.

As that work progresses, existing supports for biomass/biogas in the heat sector under the Support Scheme for Renewable Heat (SSRH) are also being reviewed. The SSRH provides an operational support for biomass boilers and anaerobic digestion heating systems and an installation grant for renewable heating systems using heat pumps.

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