The Irish government will introduce a cap on market revenues of non-gas electricity generators as it acts to address windfall gains in the energy sector by implementing the EU Council Regulation on measures to tackle high energy prices.
For wind and solar, the cap will be of EUR 120 (USD 123) per MWh, which takes into account their limited increase in costs, according to an announcement on Tuesday.
The cap will be in place from December 2022 to June 2023, in line with the Council Regulation, and apply to facilities above 1 MW.
There will be a cap of at least EUR 180 per MWh for oil-fired and coal-fired generation and a cap of EUR 180 per MWh for all other technologies.
The government will also implement the temporary solidarity contribution for companies in the fossil fuel production and refining sectors for the years 2022 and 2023.
It expects proceeds of between EUR 300 million and EUR 1.9 billion from the measures, to be collected in 2023 and 2024.
"The agreement of the Council Regulation and the government’s approval on its implementation will ensure that windfall gains will be collected and redistributed to support energy consumers," said Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications Eamon Ryan.
Noel Cunniffe, chief executive of Wind Energy Ireland, commented: “Our members know that Irish families and businesses are suffering because of high gas prices so we have never opposed the idea of a revenue cap but we had hoped that the cap would be set closer to the EUR 180 figure proposed by the EU as it is important that Ireland is not seen as an outlier.”
“We need to attract billions of euro of investment in the next 5-10 years to build the onshore and offshore wind farms that will end our dependency on fossil fuel gas which is what is causing this crisis,” Cunniffe added.
(EUR 1 = USD 1.027)
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