Green light for Irish renewable support scheme

The first renewable auction is set to take place next year, supporting ‘shovel ready’ projects

By Priyanka Shrestha

An initiative that will incentivise renewable energy projects in Ireland has been given the green light.

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (REES) aims to deliver “broader energy policy objections”, including enhancing security of supply, diversifying the renewable technology mix and increasing community participation.

Projects looking for support under the new REES will need to meet pre-qualification criteria, which includes offering the community an opportunity to invest in and take ownership of a portion of renewable projects in their local areas.

A national register of community benefit payments will also be established.

The initiative has been designed to deliver Ireland’s contribution towards an EU-wide renewable target of 32% by 2030.

The first renewable auction is set to take place next year, supporting “shovel ready” projects, after the scheme has secured state aid approval from the European Commission.

Denis Naughten, Irish Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment said: “This scheme will mark a shift from guaranteed fixed prices for renewable generators to a more market-oriented mechanism (auctions) where the cost of support will be determined by competitive bidding between renewable generators.

“The REES is a critical step in bringing Ireland to a leadership role in relation to renewable energy, climate action and energy efficiency. Communities are central to the design of the new scheme and this will have a transformative impact on renewable energy projects right across the country.”

The UK Government also recently confirmed auctions for offshore wind and remote island project, pledging to award £557 million to developers.