Ireland seeks public input on new renewables support scheme

llustration/SeaPower Platform tested off Ireland (Photo: Sea Power)

The government of Ireland has launched final public consultation on the design of the new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) which also proposes incentives for tidal and wave technologies.

The new scheme is being developed to incentivize the introduction of sufficient renewable electricity generation to meet national and EU-wide renewable energy and decarbonisation targets out to 2030.

The new RESS will largely be shaped by EU State Aid Guidelines which call for competitive auctions and bidding between project developers for state support, according to the Ireland’s Department of Communications, Climate Action & Environment (DCCAE).

However, DCCAE said it can further impose downward pressure on renewable electricity costs by designing a scheme that takes best advantage of falling renewable technology costs and increases public acceptance.

Launching the public consultation, Denis Naughten, Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, said: “The scale of transformation needed to meet our low carbon transition targets cannot be overstated. If we are to reach those targets, we must harness the combined efforts of the entire country. Industry, of course, has a key role to play in bringing to market technology options that deliver, at scale, solutions to minimize and manage costs for households and businesses alike.”

Aside from tidal and wave energy technologies, the new RESS proposes support for solar, onshore and offshore wind, bioenergy, hydro, and geothermal.

In the course of developing the consultation document, DCCAE commissioned two studies – the first by Cambridge Economic Policy Associates (CEPA) which offered an economic assessment of renewable technologies, while the second by Ricardo Energy and Environment assessed support models for community ownership of renewable energy in Ireland.

On the basis of these studies, a range of policy measures have been identified and DCCAE is now seeking public feedback on these until the deadline set for November 3, 2017.

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