Environment, Climate and Communications | Emission Reduction Targets
To ask the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications the extent to which Ireland continues to make sufficient inroads on emission reduction and the provision of alternative and renewable energy by way of offshore and onshore wind and solar generated electricity in sufficient quantity to meet requirements; and if he will make a statement on the matter. – Bernard J. Durkan.
For ORAL answer on Thursday, 15th December, 2022.
(66 Received on 8th December, 2022.)
Emissions from the electricity between 2005 and 2021 have decreased by 36%. There was more than a six-fold increase in the share of renewable electricity generation between 2005 and 2020 – from 7% to 42%. In 2021 renewables accounted for 34.7% of electricity generated due to low wind conditions resulting in less generation. The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) has helped to deliver increases in renewable generation. The first RESS auction, RESS 1, is expected to deliver circa 1,000 MW of new renewable generation. As a result, by the end of 2023, there will be approximately a 15% increase in Ireland’s renewable energy generation capacity. The second RESS auction, RESS 2, was held this year and is expected to deliver a further increase of nearly 20% by the end of 2025. Due to the success of RESS 1, 2022 was a record year for the connection of new renewable electricity generation to the grid. The Climate Action and Low Carbon Development Act (Amendment) 2021 provides for the preparation of sectoral emissions ceilings which set out the maximum amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are permitted in different sectors of the Irish economy. The new Climate Action Plan will set out a roadmap to achieve the sectoral ceilings. For the electricity sector, the plan targets 6 GW of onshore wind and up to 5GW of solar by 2025. For 2030 the target is set to 9 GW of onshore wind, 8 GW solar, and at least 5 GW of offshore wind. This will require a step change in the rate of electricity network upgrades and construction as well as policy and regulatory frameworks that incentivise and allow for this construction.
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