December 3 (Renewables Now) - The Irish government on Monday gave the green light to the country’s first auction under its new Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS) that is seen to pave the way towards a 70% renewables share by 2030.
The approval was announced by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, who stressed on the need for Ireland to “radically reduce” its dependence on fossil fuels and switch to clean and renewable power generation. Under its Climate Action Plan, the country aims to lift its share of renewable electricity in its total power mix to 70% by 2030.
The first RESS auction round will be launched early next year, subject to EU state aid approval, and will deliver up to 3,000 GWh of renewable power from facilities coming online by end-2022. According to the press statement, the frequency of the planned RESS solicitations will depend on the renewable electricity project supply pipeline but at least four auctions will be held between 2020 and 2027 to meet the 2030 targets.
Under the RESS rules, all technologies can compete in the planned auction rounds, with the goal of expanding the country’s renewable energy mix and improving power supply. They will include a solar category that will account for around 10% of the total auctioned volume, as well as a community-led category for up to 30 GWh of power. Community benefit funds of EUR 2 (USD 2.2) per MWh annually will be obligatory for participants, while RESS will also mandate Irish citizens that have access to invest in renewable energy projects located in their area.
(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.108)