Irish approve RE auction plans
Support scheme will include offshore wind and solar for the first time
The Irish government has approved a new renewable electricity support scheme that will start with a first auction for capacity next year.
Energy Minister Denis Naughten said the system known as RESS will support new green generation, including offshore wind and solar for the first time, to 2030.
The scheme, which will replace the Refit regime, will enhance security of supply, diversify the renewables mix and increase community participation in projects, Naughten added.
Auctions will be held at “frequent intervals” and will support a renewable electricity ambition of 55% by 2030, according to the Energy Department.
“While the auction approach will provide a route to market for multiple technologies, it will do so in a competitive, cost effective framework,” he said.
“The use of certain levers, such as near term delivery dates and single technology caps, will accelerate the broadening of the renewable technology mix, particularly in light of falling costs for a number of renewable technologies.”
RESS will be sent to Brussels for state aid approval with sign off expected to take six to nine months.
The auctions, the first of which is due in 2019, will include a community-led category for projects that include ownership and investment options for locals.
Image: Ireland's only offshore wind farm, the Arklow Bank project off County Wickow (NREL)