Thursday, 16 November 2023
Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment
Renewable Energy Generation
112. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the degree to which wind and solar electricity generating targets are being realised at present; the extent to which such generation can be accelerated in the short to medium term, with particular reference to the expected contribution to the national grid over the next five years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50490/23]
113. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which the alternative the energy electricity generating programme continues at pace, with particular reference to availing of wind generation, onshore and offshore; the precise extent to which this capacity has increased or is increasing, with a view to maximisation at the earliest possible date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50491/23]
114. To ask the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment the extent to which wind or solar electricity generation farms continue to be encouraged in the short, medium and long term, with a view to contributing to and stabilising the national grid given requirements likely in the next ten years; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [50492/23]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 112, 113 and 114 together.
Ireland is in the top five globally for installed wind power capacity per capita, with approximately 4.7 GW of onshore wind generation capacity, and is a world leader in the integration of variable renewable electricity onto the grid. While solar energy is a distance behind onshore wind generation, it is a growing source of electricity and is rapidly transforming Ireland’s energy system with approximately 700 MW of grid connected capacity and expected to reach 1 GW by year end.
Under the Climate Action Plan 2023, Government has set an ambitious target of having an 80% share of electricity generation capacity coming from renewable sources by 2030.
Ireland has made considerable progress in decarbonising our electricity sector over the last decade, with a major reason for this being the construction of renewable generation sources and their successful integration onto the electricity grid.
The Climate Action Plan 2023 includes the following targets:
- Target 6 GW of onshore wind and up to 5GW of solar by 2025;
- 80% of electricity demand to come from renewable sources by 2030;
- Target 9 GW onshore wind, 8 GW solar, and at least 5 GW of offshore wind by 2030(and an additional 2 GW offshore wind for green hydrogen production);
- Support at least 500 MW of local community-based renewable energy projects andincreased levels of new micro-generation and small-scale generation.
- Meeting these targets will require unprecedented levels of investment in renewable electricity generation development and in the infrastructure required to expand and strengthen our electricity grid.
- The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) is one of the major Government policies to help deliver renewable electricity generation. In order to increase wind and solar generation on the grid, my Department is delivering a regular programme of auctions under the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).
- The RESS auctions provide pathways, including target volumes, for renewable developers to plan and develop their projects, with supported technologies including, but not limited to, onshore wind, solar, and hybrids (co-located wind, solar, and/or storage), with offshore wind projects participating under the dedicated Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (ORESS).