The government of Ireland has unveiled plans to hold its first renewable electricity auction under a new support scheme in 2019.
Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten, said he expects to receive final design for the new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) by the end of March 2018.
After that, the RESS scheme will be brought to the Irish government for approval. Subject to Cabinet and European Commission’s approval, Naughten said the first renewable electricity auction will be held next year.
“I want to be clear with you here today, that while we diversify our renewable technology mix through increased renewables deployment and energy auctions, we will do so in a sustainable and responsible manner, with a focus on ensuring cost effectiveness and value for money for customers,” Naughten said during Renewable Energy Summit 2018 held last week.
The new RESS will be the first step for Ireland in delivering its contribution towards the EU’s 2030 targets, the minister said.
The scheme is also being designed to increase community participation in and ownership of renewable electricity projects, highlighted Naughten. It also proposes incentives for tidal and wave energy technologies.
The announcement follows public consultation on the scheme, conducted over 2017, which received over 1,250 submissions.
“It is encouraging to see the almost unilateral support for the measures and policies proposed that will enable community-led schemes. The industry has listened, and has provided ambitious ideas.
“What is particularly significant for me is that there will be a separate, ring fenced community category to provide opportunities for communities and citizens to take part in renewable electricity projects,” noted Naughten.