Environment, Climate and Communications | To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which sufficient investment in onshore and offshore wind energy infrastructure is taking place to ensure that targets in respect of emission reduction can be met on time
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which sufficient investment in onshore and offshore wind energy infrastructure is taking place to ensure that targets in respect of emission reduction can be met on time; the projects that are in the pipeline at present in this regard; the likelihood of such structures being in production by the year 2030; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Bernard J. Durkan.
For ORAL answer on Thursday, 2nd June, 2022.
(48 Received on 10th May, 2022.)
The Climate Action Plan 2021 commits to the achievement of up to 8GW of onshore wind, up to 2.5GW of solar and at least 5GW of offshore wind by 2030 and includes a suite of actions to realise the potential of Ireland’s renewable energy resources.
Matters relating to grid investment are operational matters for EirGrid and the Commission for Regulation of Utilities (CRU). Under the CRU’s most recent price review process (Price Review 5) they have indicated a capital investment of €4 billion across the transmission and distribution network over the five-year period to the end of 2025.
Over 1GW of new wind and solar generation was secured in the first Renewable Electricity Support Scheme in 2020, and the first of these projects have begun to reach commercial operation, with 2022 set to have the largest volume of new renewables connected to the grid in a single year.
The second Renewable Electricity Support Scheme opened in late April, with provisional results announced on 20 May. While these results remain subject to government approval, the volumes of new renewable generation procured represent a potential increase of nearly 20% in Ireland’s renewable energy generation.
Work to progress 5GW of installed offshore wind generation by 2030 is also underway. The Maritime Area Consent application process for the first batch of pre-qualified projects opened on 25 April, with the first Offshore Renewable Electricity Support Scheme auction to open in quarter 4 of this year. My Department recently held a consultation on the criteria for the second batch of offshore projects required to meet our 5GW target, with a decision on these criteria to be taken later this year.
The range of actions in progress set Ireland on the right trajectory to achieve the ambitious 80% renewable electricity target by 2030.
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